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Does This Fur Make Me Look Fat? 5 Signs Your Pet Needs to Lose Weight

We love our fur babies regardless of their size, cats and dogs should be fluffy – not chubby. Just like being overweight causes health problems for people, carrying around extra weight can lead to a host of health problems for pets. In fact, obesity puts pets at an increased risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems, arthritis, and it can even shorten a pet’s lifespan.
No matter how fluffy your cat or dog is, the following signs will help you determine if your pet needs to lose weight.

5 Signs Your Pet Needs to Lose Weight

1. Sausage Shape
The most obvious sign a pet needs to lose weight is in the shape of his physique. Both cats’ and dogs’ bodies should grow narrower at the waist (just in front of their hind legs). When observed from above, an overweight pet will not have a narrow waist. Instead, overweight pets have a classic sausage shape. Pets that can be considered obese might even grow rounder in the middle and be shaped more like a blimp.
2. Tucked Tummy
Your pet won’t ever develop a washboard stomach like a human, but there should be a noticeable waistline when viewed from the side. If your pet’s belly hangs a bit low, he is probably overweight.

5 Signs Your Pet Needs to Lose Weight

3. Rib Test
While you don’t want your pet to be so thin that their ribs stick out, you should still be able to feel them. When you pet your dog or cat, you should be able to feel the ridges of the ribcage just beneath a thin layer of fur, skin, and fat.
4. “Clothes” Don’t Fit
The waistband on your jeans is a good marker of weight gain or loss, and your pet’s collar can be used the same way. If your pet is fully grown and finished developing, but you still have to let out her collar on a regular basis, this is a sign that she’s gaining weight.
5. Labored Breathing
If your pet struggles to breathe when resting or becomes quickly winded during just about any activity, he likely needs to shed a few pounds.

Weight Management and Nutritional Counseling for Houston Pets

Our veterinarians at TangleWilde Veterinary Clinic will weigh your pet at every wellness appointment and help you determine an ideal weight for your pet based on species, sex, breed, condition, and age. If your pet needs to lose a few pounds, we’ll work with you to design a weight-loss plan that includes dietary adjustments and plenty of exercise. To learn more about your pet’s optimal weight, nutritional options, and exercise goals, we welcome you to schedule a nutritional consultation with one of our Houston veterinarians today.