More and more dogs and cats have a problem with overweight or obesity. Only ten years ago, an animal with a few extra pounds was considered healthy despite his body condition .
Today, we know that these few pounds can shorten the life of your pet, and that it can accelerate the early signs of aging such as graying muzzle or decrease activity at an advanced age. Overweight is also a determining factor in many common diseases, such as diabetes, arthritis or high blood pressure.
Did you know that one dog and one cat out of two have a weight problem? In veterinary clinics, we have several tools available to help determine what we call the ''healthy weight''. In fact, the weight on the scale is rather subjective and ten pounds for a cat can be ideal, while the next chat will be considered obese, at the exact same weight.
To determine the healthy weight of an animal, we must first establish a ''body weight score'' or a ''body score condition''. The technique is relatively simple to learn, but takes a little practice to successfully give the correct score. We call that the ''Healthy Caress''.
We will soon publish the second part of this chronicle, by explaining how to do it at home. Meanwhile, during your next visit to the Hôpital Vétérinaire Ste -Rose, do not hesitate to ask our technicians to show you how to give a body score to your animal.
Marie-Christine Hamelin, Veterinary technician
In dogs, heat is only twice a year, but in cats it can be every month