IS MY PET OVERWEIGHT?
One thing we evaluate in every physical exam is the overall body condition of each dog and cat. After all, each one is an individual, just like people.
So in people, there are a handful of body types. In dogs, there are many more, because of the great variation of the different breeds and mixes of breeds. Some guidelines hold true for everyone however…
Can I feel his/her ribs?
With gentle pressure, you should be able to feel the ribs on your dog or cat’s sides. Too much fatty tissue over this area of the body indicates too much body fat.
There are other factors to look at, such as muscle tone and joint conformation. A useful link is
https://vet.osu.edu/vmc/companion/our-services/nutrition-support-service/body-condition-scoring-chart where you can look at the descriptions of a standard scale of rating body condition. Ideally, your goal is for your pet to be a 2 or a 3, depending on his/her age and lifestyle.
It’s a start. We can help you assess your pet’s dietary needs and help you make adjustments to attain a more ideal, healthier body.
Jenifer L Russell, DVM