By the middle of March, many of us have often already given up on their New Year’s gym regime and the initial motivation to really change something is dwindling slowly but surely.
Chances are if you’ve got a pet, especially a dog, you don’t need a gym membership anyways as frequent walks will keep you in shape – but what if your pet is the one who could do with some more exercise?
Quite a few pets are overweight – after all, who can resist those puppy dog eyes or rueful meows – and while not all moggies may qualify as massive, and not every chubby puppy needs a diet straight away, shedding some weight often can’t hurt.
But how do you know if your furry friend’s weight is still alright or if they’re in need of a serious slim-down?
Checking is easy and something you can easily do yourself, even if you don’t have any scales at hand or weighing your companion would be too much of a struggle.
Not to mention that, just like us humans, every pet is different, so going by body shape is actually better than just looking at the numbers on the scales.
First, check your dog’s or cat’s outer appearance – they should have a nicely tucked in waist (we’re talking healthy, not supermodel, though!) and overall not look too chubby.
But even shapes can be a bit deceiving at times, as the writer knows all too well, which is why it’s best to use your hands to get a better idea if it’s time for a slim-down.
Gently run them over your pet’s body, starting at the sides; while the ribs shouldn’t be standing out you should be able to feel them under the skin, without a layer of fat obstructing them.
Then run your hand along their back. If you can feel the little ‘bumps’ of their spine, as well as their hipbones, all is well; at the top of their tail, it should also be nice and slim, with no ‘fatty’ bump present.
Lastly, it’s time to check your pet’s tummy – and yes, that may be quite tricky with cats, but it’s something you can easily check by just looking at your pet.
Ideally, their tummy should be flat. If your dog or cat carries a little pouch, that may indicate they’re overweight and it would be best to check their weight.
If you’re unsure, PDSA has plenty of help and advice to help your pet shed those extra pounds and be back to their own, happy self.