We love our pets. But we need to stop proving we love them by giving them so much food. Because our pets are getting fat – and it’s can significantly shorten their life! That’s according to veterinarian Dr. Carmela Stamper, from the US Food and Drug Administration. According to a recent survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, more than half of all cats and dogs are overweight.

How can you tell if your pet is too fat? For pets, 20% over ideal body weight is considered obese. But the ideal weight depends on the animal’s breed, age, body type and metabolism. For example, big dogs have a faster metabolism, while small animals, as well as neutered and older animals, which get less exercise, have a slower metabolism.

To check their weight, look at your pet from above. Do they have a defined waist? If not, and their back is broad and flat like a footstool, or oblong like a potato, they’re probably overweight.

Or run your hands along your pet’s side. Can you easily feel the ribs? If you have to push hard to feel them, they’re carrying too much weight.

And if your pet has a sagging stomach, they need to slim down. In pets at a healthy weight, looking at them in profile, their stomach won’t be on the same plane as their rib cage.

If any of those descriptions fit your dog, talk to your vet about how to help them lose weight so they can live a longer, healthier life.

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