Tools to Help You Check Your Pet’s Weight
We all know how to assess our weight, whether it’s looking in the mirror, getting on the scales, or trying to fit into that favorite pair of pants. But we often forget to assess our pets’ weight, which is also very important. An easy way to start is to run your hands over your pet’s ribs. Can you feel them? Are the ribs and spine pronounced? Can you see a waistline? When pets gain or lose weight, it can affect their health or be an indication that something’s wrong. By noticing changes early, you can help detect or prevent illness, and maintain a healthy weight for your pet.
Here are a few interactive tools to help you check your pet’s weight and start thinking about your pet’s nutritional needs. Our veterinarians at Animal Hospital of North Asheville are happy to consult and prepare a healthy weight plan for your pet.
Hill’s Pet Nutrition has an easy to use Weight Check tool online (link below). There is no registration required. With the Weight Check tool, you just enter a few details about your pet and use an interactive tool to help determine your pet’s body shape. It will give an estimated ideal weight. Also helpful is the Know the Score tool (link below) which is an interactive body score chart. This chart gives you a visual aid in what to watch for when your pet gains or loses too much weight.These are great ways to start thinking about whether your pet is overweight or underweight and can be helpful as you discuss your pet’s weight with your primary veterinarian. Your pet’s veterinarian will take into consideration his or her medical history and will help you devise a feeding plan to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Hill’s Pet Nuitrition and PetMd have partnered to help pet guardians make better food choices for their cats and dogs with MyBowl (links below). MyBowl was inspired by USDA MyPlate. Our pets’ nutritional needs do not match ours, so MyBowl is an easy to use interactive tool in describing nutritional needs of our pets. Be sure to consult with your primary veterinarian if you have any questions about nutrition. They will be able to help you choose a diet that best fits your pet’s nutritional needs.
According to Hill’s and PetMd, MyBowl puts pet nutrition in easy to understand human terms to:
- Illustrate the proper proportion of essential nutrients for cats’ and dogs’ needs – carbohydrates, protein, minerals, vitamins, fats and oils
- Educate owners about the specific benefits each nutrient delivers when fed in the right balance
- Decode the food labels so owners ensure their pets are receiving the proper balance of nutrients at each meal
*Important Note: Percentages for each bowl category are based on healthy cats and dogs and will vary for puppies, kittens and pets with illness or special dietary needs.
- The Pet Weight Translator is an interactive tool that compares a pet’s weight to a person’s weight.
- Weight Loss for Cats and Dogs includes informative articles about cats and dogs.
- Walking Your Dog for Weight Loss is an informative article with tips on how to start a walking routine.
Also visit Animal Hospital of North Asheville’s website for the following nutritional articles. These are a great way to learn about nutrition and proper feeding.
Deciphering Pet Food Labels
How often Should I Feed My Pet?
What You Need To Know When Choosing A Pet Food
Healthy Treats For Your Pet
These tools can lend a helping hand in understanding pet nutrition and weight assessment. It can be a confusing topic but never hesitate to contact your primary veterinarian with questions. We may not be able to help you get into those pants, but we can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight for your animal companions.