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Health Tip: Is Your Pet a Healthy Weight?

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(HealthDay News) -- While we all love rewarding our pets with treats and occasional table scraps, it may not be a good idea if your dog or cat is overweight.

A pet that is 20 percent over ideal body weight is considered obese, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says. Just as with people, a pet's metabolism can slow as the dog or cat ages, so you may need to adjust your pet's diet accordingly.

The FDA says you can determine if your pet is overweight by:

  • Looking at the animal from above to determine if the pet has a definite waist. If you see a waist, the pet probably is not overweight.
  • Running your hands along the animal's side to determine if you can easily feel the ribs. Or do you have to push hard to feel them?
  • Seeing if the animal has a "tucked" abdomen, or a sagging stomach? Ideally, you don't want to easily grab a handful of fat on the stomach.

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