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The Highcroft Blog

How do I check my pet's body condition?

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

According to research carried out by the British Veterinary Association (BVA) in 2016, 60% of UK vets said that obesity was the biggest health and welfare concern. 

In addition to putting your pet on the weighing scales, we use body condition as an indicator of healthy weight. Explained simply, this involves checking for waist definition, palpable ribs and an abdominal tuck.

Why not have a go at checking your pet’s body condition. Does your pet have a visible waist? Can you easily feel their ribs when you run your fingers over them? Ribs should not be clearly visible but they should be easy to feel and have minimal fat covering them. The waist should be easily observed when viewed from above and the abdomen tucked up when viewed from the side.  If the waist is not visible, the abdomen is rounded and ribs are difficult to palpate (feel) under the skin, your pet is highly likely to be overweight. On the other hand, if your pet’s ribs are clearly visible and their abdomen highly tucked, your pet is probably underweight.

Your pet’s weight can have a significant effect on their health and quality of life. 

In fact obesity can lead to a number of serious health issues and significantly reduce lifespan. Therefore, understanding your pet’s ideal weight, and body condition, could improve their quality of life and keep them with you for longer.

It is worth asking a member of your veterinary team to show you how to check your pet’s body condition.  Once you know what to look for it will be easy to keep an eye on them. Our practice nurse would be happy to help you with this, simply call your surgery.


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