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How to Help Your Pet Maintain a Healthy Weight

March 11, 2016 at 10:35 AM by Nikki Wardle

Is your pet overweight

As spring gets closer, we're all examining the pounds we gained over the holidays and thinking about how to improve our health in the new year. Is your furry friend a little husky (no pun intended) as well after the holidays? It's easy to spoil pets a little more than usual over the Christmas season with treats and human food, but it's important to keep a close eye on your dog or cat's weight.

A Healthy Weight for Fido

Many pets are overweight or obese, causing significant health issues. It's understandable how this kind of problem occurs; it's fun to spoil your pet with extra treats, and it's not always easy to get adequate exercise during the winter months. But being overweight can have many of the same side effects for pets as it does for humans, such as:

  • Arthritis
  • Breathing problems
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Liver disease

With the right diet and a healthy dose of exercise, you can help your pet live a longer and happier life.

Is Your Pet Obese?

It's important to know whether your dog's weight is healthy or not, particularly since it can be difficult when they're hidden under a thick winter coat. Here are the two best ways to tell if your dog is overweight.

  1. Look at your dog from above. If you can't see an obvious waistline form just after the ribcage, your pet is likely overweight.
  2. Run your hands over our pet's rib cage and feel for ribs. If you can't feel your dog's ribs at all, it's a good sign that you have some work to do.

Help Your Pet Lose Weight

It's fairly simple to get our pet's health back on track. Start by feeding him or her a healthier portion every day and start exercising with your dog regularly.

  • Talk to your vet about prescription diet food if your pet has a lot of weight to lose.
  • Cut out snacks between meal times, unless it's a health option like steamed green beans or cooked pumpkin.
  • Make a conscious effort to be more active with your pet. It will be good for your health, too!

Bring your pet in for a physical examination to get his or her health back on track. Your first exam is free! Contact us today.

Topics: Pet Care

Nikki Wardle

Written by Nikki Wardle

Nikki has been writing for Intermountain Pet Hospital since 2014.