Jan 29 2009 Ross Allan
pets 'n' vets
IT has come to that time of year when we are all desperate to shake off the signs of Christmas overindulgence.
Many people join the gym, and try to eat better than they have for the last months, and the shops start to push their "healthy alternatives".
For pets the need to assess whether they are overweight doesn't normally have a seasonal variation.
It is something that should be done on a regular basis. Ensuring that your pet is not larger than they should be, just "larger than life".
The importance of doing this is that obesity in pets, as well as in people, affects the pet's lifespan.
Overweight pets are more prone to arthritis, diabetes and have a slightly higher risk with anaesthetics and surgery if it is needed at any time.
Over the last few years there has been a dramatic rise in pet obesity. It's thought that as many as 45per cent of all pets are now overweight to some degree.
The ways to tell if your pet is overweight is by looking at them, and also by tactile methods.
You should first look at them from above.
They should have a clearly discernable waistline, or "hour glass shape", if not this suggests that they may be obese.
When you feel over your pet's chest it should be easy to feel the groves between their ribs.
Owners are often worried if they can feel these and think their pet is thin - it doesn't it just means that they're not fat!
The ideal size pet should have clearly defined waist, and ribs A fat pet will have a loss of waist and no ribs palpable.
Most of the above applies to cats as well as dogs. Cats however have another change that can occur, as they get larger.
They often get a bulge of fat under their lower tummy, similar to "love handles" but for cats!
If you follow the techniques described above you should be able to discern whether your pet would benefit from a diet.
In next month's article I'll give some advice to help your pet lose weight.
Do you have a pet query for Ross?
Contact: email@example.com Pets 'N' Vets - Glasgow Veterinary Centres can be found at: 1478 Pollokshaws Road, Glasgow G43 1RN 0141 649 5471 Crookfur Precinct, 5 Corrour Road, Newton Mearns, Glasgow G77 6TR 639 5066