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How to Tell if Your Pet is Overweight

Recent studies indicate that nearly half of all domestic dogs and cats are overweight. Since obesity can lead to multiple serious health issues, it’s important to know for certain if your pet is overweight so you can start treating it. Use these methods as described by your Carmel vet.

Look Down from Above

Straddle your pet, looking down on her from above. Near your pet’s backside, just behind the ribcage, there should be an inward curve as the belly blends into the hips. If this “waist” area of your pet isn’t visible, and there’s just a straight line from the shoulders all the way into the back hips, your pet is probably overweight.

Look from the Side

Kneel down and examine your pet from the side. Again, look at the belly area near the back of your pet’s body. It should curve upward just past the ribcage, forming a gentle curve into the area between the back legs. If there’s no curve, or the area sags down, it’s a sign of obesity. Cats are especially known for collecting fat in this area.

Feel the Ribs

Place each of your hands on the sides of your pet’s body. Can you feel the ribs fairly easily with a gentle push into your pet’s skin? If you can’t find your pet’s ribs or there seems to be a thick layer between the fur and the ribs, excess fat could be the culprit.

Feel the Base of the Tail

Some pets collect excess fat around the base of the tail. Look right above where your pet’s tail begins. Multiple folds of skin or extra fat collected there could be a sign that your pet has packed on the pounds.

See Your Vet

Of course, a professional opinion is always best. Not only will you know conclusively whether or not your pet falls into the “obese” category, you’ll have a pro on hand to tell you what to do. Most likely, your pet will need to go on a diet and exercise plan to lose the excess weight. Set up an appointment with your Carmel veterinarian today to get started!

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