The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention will conduct the 11th Annual National Pet Obesity Awareness Day on Wednesday, October 10, 2018.
How do owners know if their pet is overweight? We start with what is called a body condition score. It’s like what a body mass index is for people.
First, you should be able to easily feel – and count – your dog’s or cat’s ribs when you lightly run your fingers across the side. Next, when you look down on your pet from above, you should see an hourglass figure or an indentation near the midsection. If your pet looks like a tube from above, it’s overweight.
Finally, when you observe your pet from the side when standing, you should see a slight tuck or upward slope of the tummy.
We then look into what your pet is eating and what the makeup of that food is. Are the calories appropriate? And what are the protein, fat and fiber amounts? Just like with humans, being overweight can cause medical problems for our furry friends. They can develop diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, kidney disease and even some types of cancer.Asking the question “Is my pet overweight?” at your next veterinarian visit is an excellent way to help prevent those diseases.
Gunny is a 4-year-old Retriever, that, because of circumstances beyond his control, had to move from South Carolina to Colorado.
Before weight loss.
At that time in March he weighed 98 pounds and had a body condition score of 7.5/9, which is very unhealthy. Gunny was about 25 % overweight. His new owner, Dr. Kelly Gaffney looked at the food and the treats he was getting and determined he was getting a lot more calories than he needed and not enough protein. She came up with a plan to feed a different food which allowed Gunny to actually eat more food and still lose weight.
Now 6 months later, he weighs 82 pounds and looks forward to playing Frisbee!
After weight loss.