dog begging for foodObesity is a huge problem in this country, and our pets are no exception to this condition. With over 50% of America’s household pets considered overweight or obese, it is more important than ever to recognize that your pet’s is overweight and address it accordingly.

Pets who are at a healthy weight live longer, healthier lives. Just like us, the extra pounds your pet may packing can affect their heart, overall cardiovascular system, bones, and joints, resulting in serious health problems and a shorter lifespan.

So how can you tell if your pet getting fat? Here are a few clues that your pet may have a few pounds to lose…

Your Pet’s Overall Shape is Gone

Take a step back and look at your pet objectively. What is his or her overall shape? Can you see a defined waist from the side and above? Be sure to take into account that fluffier pets may have coats that are deceiving. You may have to run your hands over the body in order to assess fully.

You Can’t Feel Your Pet’s Ribs

When you put your hands on your pet’s sides, you should be able to feel the ribs easily without having to push through layers of fat. If you have to apply much pressure to feel the ribs, your pet may be overweight.

Your Pet is Always Hungry

Pets that are constantly begging for food are more likely to be overweight. And no matter how persistent they are, it is important to keep an overweight pet to his or her feeding schedule. However, if your pet is not overweight and still seems to be hungry all the time, that should be addressed with your vet.

Your Pet is Not Able or Willing To Keep Up

Just like people who have a few pounds to lose, pets that are overweight will have a hard time during physical activity and may be uninterested in physical activity at all. Don’t let your pet slide. Just start out slowly and build your pet’s stamina.

If any of these warnings throw up a red flag for your pet, you may want to make an appointment to have your vet weigh in on the matter.

At your appointment your vet will assess your pet’s body condition score, and discuss your pet’s food, diet, portions, and exercise routine. Your vet will also give you’re your pet’s starting weight and discuss a healthy goal weight as well.

Helping your pet return to and maintain a healthy weight doesn’t have to be hard, but it should be done. And we’re happy to help you and your pet meet this goal.