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How Can I Tell If my Pets are Overweight?

Even if my pets look okay to me, can they be overweight?

Absolutely!  Apart from checking with your vet by putting your dog or cat on the weighing scales, there are ways of checking yourself. Stand above your pet and look down, as both cats and dogs taper in at the waist. This is the area where the abdomen meets the hip joints. If there is little or none at all, they are more than likely overweight. In long haired animals this is a little more difficult to distinguish by sight. So you will now need to feel either side of your pet in their rib area.  If they are short haired you should be able to feel their ribs relatively easily but not see them clearly and individually as they do have a layer of fat over this area. If you can clearly see the ribs they may be too skinny. If they are long haired then just feel either side of their body for their individual ribs. If you cannot feel the ribs at all they are definitely overweight. When viewed from the side the abdomen is tucked up towards the back legs. If your animal is overly rounded where the area between the hips and ribs is wider that the actual rib width and hip width they are grossly overweight or obese.

Whether obese or somewhat overweight, just as in humans, it can cause serious health problems, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and arthritis. If you are in any doubt see your vet immediately. You may need to address their diet and health concerns.

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