Spot The Signs Of Pet Obesity

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Pet owners should visit their veterinarian to confirm if their pet is overweight and develop a weight loss program that suits the pet's specific needs.

Obesity, defined as weighing 20 per cent more than an individual's ideal weight, is a growing problem for Canadians. Caused by multiple factors, including excessive consumption of calories paired with lack of physical activity, obesity is a problem for both us and our pets.

While we can choose to do something about our own weight problems, our pets need help. Obese pets can experience a number of medical conditions, including:

Low resistance to infection and a lower ability to fight off infection

Increased incidence of arthritis, spinal disk problems and torn knee ligaments

Impaired endurance during exercise

Skin problems due to insulating properties of fat

Higher risk of developing diabetes, and reduced liver function

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Three-Step Pet Obesity Check

To help identify if obesity is a concern, learn to recognize the signs of an overweight pet with the three-step weight check:

Rib Check - Place both thumbs on your pet's backbone and run your fingers along their rib cage. If you can't easily feel their ribs with slight pressure, they may be overweight.

Profile Check - Look at your pet from the side. If you don't see a clearly defined abdomen tuck, they may be overweight.

Overhead Check - Stand directly over your dog or cat while they are standing up. If they don't have a clear and defined "hour glass" figure, they are likely overweight.

The three-step weight check is the best way for a pet owner to determine whether or not their pet's weight should be a concern. Pet owners should visit their veterinarian to confirm if their pet is overweight and develop a weight loss program that suits the pet's specific needs.

Hill's Pet Nutrition has a variety of products designed to help aid in both weight maintenance and weight loss under the Hill's Science Diet brand, available through veterinarians and pet specialty food stores, and Hill's Prescription Diet brand, available exclusively through veterinary clinics.

For more information please visit petfit.com and animalhealthcare.ca

By News Canada

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