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Is my pet overweight?

Updated: Jun 26, 2022

Just like humans, around 60% of our pets are overweight.


Unlike us, our pets have coats that can hide this very well, so how would you begin to find out if your pet is carrying too much weight? When we see a pet in clinic at CareVets on the Wirral we use a system called BCS or body condition scoring. This is based on a few fairly simple parameters that you can use at home:

  1. Waistline - we should be able to see it!

  2. Chest - should be slightly wider than the hips.

  3. Coverage - over the chest, enough that the ribs can be felt easily, but not seen.

Vets use a BCS (body condition score) chart to assess like the one below:



As pets get older, we see so many for joint stiffness (osteoarthritis/OA), diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cruciate disease, heatstroke, breathing problems in flat short-nosed animals, cancer, incontinence and ultimately, reduced lifespan, and most importantly - quality of their life. Occasionally, increased weight can be caused by underlying conditions such as an underactive thyroid.


How do we reduce excess weight?

  • The right amount of exercise

  • The right amount of food

These will be covered in upcoming blogs. Meanwhile, have a look at the chart above and compare it to your pet.


Don't despair! With busy lives, it can creep up easily without us noticing it and people are often surprised when we discuss it in clinic. This is where we can help. Weight checks are free and we love nothing better than seeing your best friend looking happier.


If you would like further advice, call us.


Other sources of useful information:





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