Don’t make a ‘dog’s dinner’ out of your dog’s diet: How to tell if your pet is the right weight
“Am I feeding him the right amount?”
I get asked this question a great deal in the consulting room, so I know that it is something that pet owners are constantly anxious about.
At the Mewes Vets we have now been a Royal Canin © Approved Weight Management Clinic for well over a year. This means that many of my pet owners have already learnt how to answer that question themselves, but I never tire of explaining.
The best way to know if you are feeding your pet the correct amount for their shape is to do a Body Condition Score. This requires three simple steps:
- You look at their little waists from above, hoping to see a perfect hourglass like Sophia Loren;
- You observe them from the side, expecting their bellies to be well tucked up higher than their breast bones; and
- You stroke their ribcages with your fingertips, as if with a feather. You should feel a bone of each rib easily under the skin, without needing any pressure at all.
If your finger drops between the ribs, as they will between your knuckles when you make a fist, you need to allow more food.
If you have to press even a little to be sure of where the ribs are, then you need to feed less food.
You can compare your pet’s physical shape with our Body Condition Score charts at www.themewesvets.co.uk/services/clinics/weight to hone your skill, or arrange for a lesson on how to do this, free of charge, with one of my specially trained team.
We will also weigh them, and set you an ideal weight to work towards for the long term, once your pet is 18 months or older, and they have completely stopped growing.
Alternatively, do join us at the Plumpton College Open Day on Saturday 13th May where I shall be teaching pet owners this skill and offering advice on how to get to that perfect weight, all for no charge!
It starts at 10am, and is a fantastic day out for the whole family, with lots to see and do, including demonstrations from the Plumpton College students (I particularly enjoy watching the blacksmiths!), loads of attractions, food and crafts, the dog show, and entertainment for the kids.
As published in the Mid Sussex Times on 11th May 2017
We like to celebrate pets with perfectly slim figures