Just like us humans, when pets carry extra weight their health, wellbeing, and mobility are affected.
Monitoring your pet’s weight by regularly weighing them is a good starting point but some dogs will be reluctant to get on your scales, and most dogs struggle to stay still once on them. This can make it difficult to get an accurate reading. You can always bring them down to any of our vet practices to get them on our special pet scales.
Furthermore, weight isn’t the only indicator of a pet’s overall health because it does not take into account breed, age, and conformation. Therefore, veterinary practices also use a body condition score chart as a generic guide for assessing your dog’s weight. There are separate charts for each size of dog, from x-small to giant breeds.
A score of 4 or 5 indicates that your dog is an “ideal” weight. This can be described as:
“Ribs (easily) palpable with minimal fat covering. Waist clearly visible when viewed from above. Abdominal tuck evident – particularly when viewed from the side.”
An overweight dog is more likely to develop health problems than one with an “ideal weight”. It places them at a greater risk of suffering from breathing problems and renders them more susceptible to conditions such as a torn cruciate ligament. It also impacts their overall wellbeing because a lethargic dog is less likely to want to play and go for walks.
One of the biggest physical problems associated with excess weight is the impact that it has on your pet’s joints. If your dog already suffers from an orthopaedic condition such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, or arthritis – being overweight will not only exacerbate the condition but may set the rehabilitation process back due to the unnecessary strain on these joints.
If ignored, being overweight could reduce the life expectancy of your pet by up to 2 years.
If you are concerned about your dog’s weight, please contact us to book an appointment with our team who can provide individual guidance and information for your pet.
Remember, a healthy hound is a happy hound.