At Paoli Vetcare, we believe that regular checkups and wellness exams are critical to your pet’s well-being. We keep meticulous medical records and recommend further testing only when we find a potential problem in need of further investigation. Drs. Rowan and Urioste, have almost 50 years of veterinary experience combined, and they proudly use that experience to make sure that your pet’s overall health and weight are properly managed.

One question that people often have is, “what is the ideal weight for my pet?” And, “how do I know if my pet needs to lose weight?” For smaller dogs and cats, a matter of only a few pounds could mean the difference between healthy and unhealthy, and sometimes those extra few pounds might be harder to spot for well-meaning pet owners who love their pets through “thick and thin.”

Here are some things to look for if you think your pet might be overweight:

  1. Your pet has an oval shape, rather than an hourglass shape. Get a “bird’s-eye view” by standing above your pet and looking down at her. Your dog or cat should have somewhat of an hourglass shape, with a taper at the waist, which is between the abdomen and the hips. If there is little or no taper, your pet is probably overweight.
  2. You can’t feel your pet’s ribs. Put your hands on the side of your pet’s chest. If you can’t feel his ribs, he probably needs to lose weight. Ideally, you should be able to feel his ribs, but not see them. If you can see them, your dog or cat could be underweight.
  3. Extra fat around the abdomen, hips, and neck. Have you noticed a bit of a fat roll on the back side of your pup’s neck? That’s a sign that she’s carrying too much weight. Once an animal has extra fat around the abdomen, hips, and neck, it probably falls into the “obese” category and will be at higher risk of developing many health issues, including diabetes, arthritis, cancer, and more.

If you’re still unsure about your pet’s weight, please contact us! If your pet is overweight or obese, we can work with you to develop and implement an exercise and nutrition program that is right for your furry pal.

Consequences Of Pet Obesity

There are many health issues and diseases that can result from pet obesity, and some of these consequences are serious. Pets with obesity have increased risk of metabolic and endocrine disorders, respiratory issues, and overall decreased quality of life. There are chronic pain issues that can result from pet obesity, such as joint inflammation and buildup of fatty tissue.

What Issues Stem From Pet Weight?

  • Decreased life expectancy
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Insulin resistance
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney disease
  • Respiratory disease
  • Chronic pain
  • Cancer
  • Inflammation

Keeping pets at healthy weight levels is important to their overall health and quality of life. Obesity is one of the greatest health issues that pets commonly face, and Paoli Vetcare is happy to give you recommendations, suggestions, and medications to help curb pet obesity. It’s important to maintain your pet’s annual and biannual checkups to make sure they stay on the correct path toward health!

Dr. Erin Downes VMD

Dr. Erin Downes graduated valedictorian from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1992. She and her husband, Dr. Jay Rowan are the owners of Paoli Vetcare | Main Line Vet & Animal Hospital.