In recent years, we’ve seen an increase in overweight dogs, cats and other pets. Did you know that here in Canada and the U.S., almost 50% of dogs are overweight? As pet owners ourselves, we realize it may be difficult to notice a slow and gradual increase in weight. As our winters are not pleasant in Nova Scotia, it is tempting to stop exercise or slow activity during the winter months. Normally, we end up putting on a little layer of winter weight. We may consider this to be harmless, but being overweight can actually shorten your pet’s lifespan and cause arthritis and other health conditions. Fortunately, there are many steps that you can take to help your furry friend reach a healthier weight. Simply call us to learn more about our weight management services here at AMC.
How can I tell if my pet is overweight or obese?
With our furry friends, it is a lot more difficult to tell if they are overweight or underweight. This is because some breeds or species are naturally thin or gaunt-looking (e.g. greyhounds, salukis and whippets). A good rule of thumb is that you should always be able to feel the bottom or lower ribs of your pet. There should also be a clear definition between your pet’s waist and hips. If you cannot do any of these two things, it may be time to ask your veterinarian if your pet is at a healthy weight. As well, decreased activity levels and heavy panting are all signs of an overweight pet.
Is it bad for pets to be overweight, even by just a little?
Unfortunately, yes. Here at AMC, we are pet owners just like you and we love to spoil our pets as well with treats and the yummiest food. But, it’s important to remember that over time, being overweight can have many negative effects on your pet’s health such as shorter life span, cancer, osteoarthritis, diabetes, heart disease and more.