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    5 Ways to Determine if Your Pet is Overweight

    Admittedly, there’s nothing cuter than a chubby four-legged companion, but obesity is a growing concern among the veterinary community and for good reason. A pet that is overweight can suffer from a number of other serious health conditions as a result, and may even live a shorter life. It’s up to us as responsible animal owners to be sure we’re keeping our pets at a healthy weight. Below, a Birmingham vet shares 5 ways you can tell if your pet may be carrying a few too many pounds.

    Get Educated - The first step in determining whether your pet is overweight is learning just what weight range is considered to be normal for your particular breed. Your Birmingham vet can provide some guidelines. Once you know this range, you can monitor your pet accordingly to make sure he or she doesn’t go over.

    Look, Feel and Weigh – With some pets, it’s easy to tell they’re a little on the chubby side just by looking at them. With others, you may need to feel around to see if you can still feel their spine and rib cage. When all else fails, get out the scale.

    Get Counting - Take a few moments to add up all of the calories your pet is consuming when it comes to extras, such as treats or dental chews. These products are not necessities and may be sabotaging your pet’s diet. If you determine that more than 10% of the calories your animal companion is consuming come from treats and chews, it’s time to cut back.

    Do a Food Check – Your pet’s body will change with age and their nutritional requirements will also change. For instance, older animals are usually not as active as their younger counterparts, therefore they may need a food that is designed to support a lower activity level. Ask your Birmingham vet to recommend a good food for your pet’s needs.

    Checkup Time – If you’re still not quite sure whether your pet is at a healthy weight, your Birmingham vet can help. Routine wellness visits incorporate weight management, and you can use this time to learn what diet, exercise and other tips you should incorporate to help your pet achieve his or her ideal weight.

    Pet obesity is no laughing matter, but if you are diligent about recognizing the signs of an overweight animal, you’ll have a better chance of keeping your pet happy, healthy and fit.

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