Pet Obesity is a Year Round Concern for Pets

Dr. Gary Hoover is a veterinarian at Fairgrounds Animal Hospital.

October may be over, but concern for pet obesity isn’t over! Many pets are overweight or obese, which can cause some significant problems if not addressed.

How do I know if my pet is obese?

Typically, your veterinarian will look for three main physical characteristics to determine your pet’s body condition score (BCS). BCS is graded on a scale of 1-9, with 1 being severely underweight, 4-5 being ideal, and 8-9 being obese. The first thing to consider is fat deposits along the chest. When you feel along your pet’s chest, your fingers should bump along the ribs underneath the skin and a thin layer of fat. If you can’t feel your pet’s ribs, they likely are overweight. The next two characteristics go together, and they form your pet’s waist. Looking at your pet from above, the chest should be the widest point, and the body should narrow in front of the hips/hind legs. Similarly, from the side, your pet’s chest should be the deepest point, and the abdomen should tuck up in front of the hips. Continue…

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Fireworks: Terrifying for Pets

Fireworks: Awesome for Humans, Terrifying for Pets

Tips for keeping your dogs, cats and other pets safe and happy during summer celebrations. Many people enjoy the booming sounds and flashing lights of fireworks, but they can be terrifying and overwhelming for pets, and possibly hazardous. On the Fourth of July, so many pets are frightened and try to escape the sites and sounds that animal shelters around the nation report a dramatic increase in lost pets during the holiday. Continue…