Make A New Year’s Resolution to Improve Your Pet’s Health
Countless Americans hit the gym after New Year’s in a bid to get healthy and fit, but your pet’s health is important, too! Since they rely on you to make the right choices for their well-being, it is essential that you know what options are healthiest for your pet.
Excess weight and obesity aren’t just problems for humans—they affect our pets as well. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, roughly 53% of dogs and 58% of cats are overweight or obese here in the United States. To gauge whether your pet is overweight or obese, our doctors here at Blum use a Body Condition Score (BCS) to determine your pet’s ideal weight. The scale used for the BCS begins at 1, which indicates emaciation, and goes up to 5, which indicates obesity.
Use our BCS chart below to assess your pet’s weight.
Be careful about the low-calorie treats you choose for your pet—they may be higher in caloric content than they advertise. The ASPCA recommends alternative options, such as baby carrots, apples, raspberries and green beans for dogs (no core or seeds); and cat nip/grass, peas, frozen corn, green beans and broccoli florets for cats.
Exercise and stimulation is also essential for keeping your pet in good shape. However, you should first make sure that your pet is healthy enough to engage in certain activities. Each pet is an individual, and has their own individual needs. A specific exercise program may work for one overweight pet, but not another. To create a customized exercise and diet plan for your pet, contact our hospital—your veterinarian is always happy to provide guidance and help you make the best decisions for your companion.