How to check if your pet is over or under weight; Expert offers tips
It's important for pet parents to keep a check on their pet's weight to keep them healthy and disease free. Check out some top tips to check if your pet is over or underweight.
Pets' weight might change a lot, which could be caused by their eating habits, exercise routines, or general health. The weight of your pet, observations of their behaviour patterns, and, in some cases, a visit to the clinic can all assist you in determining if your pet is underweight or overweight. Pet owners frequently are unaware that their dog is overweight because the weight gain is so gradual they don't notice the change. It is best to address the issue of weight increase before any diseases associated with obesity manifest. If your pet isn’t brought back to a healthy weight, there’s a risk that your pet could develop serious issues that can affect their quality of life. (Also read: Do you have an overweight dog? Here are diet tips you must follow )
"Obesity is an increasing problem in pets that we are seeing on a daily basis. Unfortunately, a lot of pet owners are still not addressing their pet's weight gain or recognising the detrimental impact being overweight has on them. A recent study undertaken by the University of Liverpool showed that overweight dogs could lose 2 years of their lifespan. Therefore, it's highly important to be aware of your pet's weight." says, Veterinary Surgeon, Louisa in her recent Instagram post. She further suggested ways to check your pet's weight at home.
One way to start recognising whether our dogs are overweight (without using the weighing scales) is by using a ‘body condition score’ (BCS) which is a recognised method. This is done by looking at your dog’s ribcage, abdomen, waist and underbelly (it also does look at the hip bones and spine) to create a score to determine if your dog is in a healthy weight category or not.
According to the World Small Animal Veterinary Association, which uses a scoring system out of 9. The ideal body condition score is 5/9. With a 5/9 BCS or an ‘ideal body weight you can:
- Feel your dog's ribs without too much pressure, meaning there should be minimal fat covering.
- Looking from above you should see a lovely waistline/hourglass shape.
- Looking from the side you should see the tummy be ‘tucked up’ towards their hips.
Body condition scores can be taken out for every pet from dogs to cats. It is something that all pet owners should try at home to keep their pets healthy and disease free.