My Pets Ideal Weight

The best way to determine your pets ideal weight is to assess their body condition. Your veterinarian will give your pet a “body condition score” during their wellness exam. However, you don’t need the score to know what is ideal. A pet with an ideal body condition will have a “waist” when looking from above and a “tummy tuck” when looking from the side. You should be able to feel their ribs easily when petting over the rib cage, but you do not want to be able to see each rib when looking from afar. Even without weighing your pet, you can monitor their body condition and determine if they are ideal. If your pet is underweight you should speak to your veterinarian about medical conditions that may cause weight loss. If you determine that your pet is heavier than ideal there are a few easy steps you can take to get on the right track. First measuring out the food and meal feeding are a good start. Then cutting out high calorie treats and substituting for healthier treats – such as baby carrots or green beans for dogs and pieces of kibble for dogs or cats. Adding daily exercise into your routine can also help. For dogs this can mean a walk or playing ball. For cats this can mean setting aside play time to engage them with their favorite toy. Rotate toys to keep it interesting. For both dogs and cats you can use food based toys like treat balls – but instead of treats put part of their daily kibble into the ball.  If you have implemented a plan for weight gain or loss and are having trouble being successful, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.  They can discuss medical reasons for weight gain or weight loss with you.  Also bring a list of all foods and treats fed on a daily basis along with the calories (listed on the pet food bag as kcal/cup) in each food.  The doctors and team at GVH are here to help you be successful. 

Nicole Arms, VMD

 

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