Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the human population. It should come as no surprise then that it is an increasing problem in pets as well. It is quickly becoming the most common diease in the veterinary field.
One easy way to tell if your dog is overweight is to view him from above. His waist should be the narrowest portion of the body. You should also be able to feel a dog’s ribs with minimum pressure. If your dog has no waist and you have to push to feel the ribs, your dog is overweight. Try switching to a light diet or increase his exercise. If these things do not help, consider having his thyroid checked. Dogs with low thyroid may not be able to lose weight even with severe calorie restriction.
Cat obesity can be a little more difficult to assess. Cats tend to carry most of their weight in the under belly. View your cat from the side. His belly should have a tuck right in front of his back legs. If it hangs down, he is overweight. Feeling for ribs is also a good way to judge. Cats do not respond well to calorie restriction or high fiber. The “Atkin’s diet” (i.e. high protein and low carbs) is a good approach for cats. Canned food tends to be higher in protein than dry food and is highly recommended. Also, canned food has minimal negative effect on a cat’s health.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, call Hudson Veterinary Hospital at (330)650-2929.