We want to take care of our pets as if they’re family. This includes keeping pets at a healthy weight. If you are concerned about your pet's sudden weight gain or loss, it may be time to visit a vet. There is a distinct method that professional veterinarians often use to evaluate the condition of your pet’s body. Based on a 9 point score, we can determine whether or not your pet is overweight or underweight and by how much. However, these scores may mean different things based on the breed of the dog. To determine the score, there are four steps you can do to conclude the state of your pet’s body condition.
Rib check – First, feel your pets ribs and you should easily distinguish them. If you are able to see them without touching the area, your pet may be too thin. In contrast, if you are unable to see them or feel them at all, your pet may be overweight.
Profile check – The area near the base of the tail should be slightly larger, making it appear smooth. While protruding bones can be an indicator of your pet being underweight or too thin, a significantly larger area or the inability to feel the bones can suggest your pet is overweight.
Overhead check – Looking down over your pet, there should be a definitive waist behind the ribs. If you notice bony prominence, your pet may be too thin. If there is no distinct definition of the waist to ribs, and the area between the waist and ribs is wider than the ribs and hips, your pet may well be overweight.
Abdominal tuck check – While this check may differ between breeds, ideally the area behind the ribs should be smaller than the diameter of the chest, known as the abdominal tuck. If this area is too severe or non-existent, this is an indicator that your pet may be over- or underweight.
If your pet is overweight, it’s good to start planning to reduce the amount of food they consume and to input daily exercise into their routine. Visiting a vet to learn more about weight management and diet counseling can help pet owners create healthy strategies for weight loss or gain.
At Country Creek Animal Hospital, your pet’s health is important to us. If you’d like for us to conduct the body condition score and check, we are happy to assist you and recommend nutritious options to implement in your pets new diet. Contact our Allen, TX veterinarians today!
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