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 ribs, your dog is overweight. Try switching to a light diet or increase his exercise. Also, dogs with low thyroid may not be able to lose weight even with severe calorie restriction. A simple blood test can assess the thyroid level.
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. Cats respond well to the “Atkin’s diet” (i.e. high protein and low carbs). 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 dental health.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, call Hudson Veterinary Hospital at (330)650-2929.