We know sometimes pet’s can get over or under weight, just like people! According to a recent study, “veterinarians consider 47 percent of their patients overweight or obese.” This will help you at home, deciding if your pup is over or underweight by using the Knuckle Test. There are two ways to do the “knuckle test:”
One version is by make a loose fist with your hand. Run your fingers over the back of your hand, then over your knuckles, then over the back of your fingers near the knuckles. If your dog or cat’s ribs feel like the bones in the back of your hand (as in, you can’t feel them very well) then they’re probably overweight. If their ribs feel like your knuckles, then they’re probably underweight. And if your pet’s ribs feel like the backs of your fingers — meaning you can feel each rib but there’s some padding around them — then your pet is probably at just the right weight.
The second version is a little different, you can do this by making a tight fist and run your fingers over your knuckles. Each bone is prominent. If your pet’s rib cage feels like this, they’re underweight. Then hold your hand flat and run your fingers over your knuckles. You can feel each knuckle but not quite as easily. There’s a little padding there. If your pet’s ribs feel like this, they’re probably at the ideal weight. And finally, flex your hand tight, stretching your fingers as far back as they’ll go, and you guessed it, run your fingers over your knuckles. It’s not nearly so easy to feel your knuckles. If your pet’s ribs feel like this, it’s time to cut back on the treats and bump up the exercise.
If you have a hard time figuring out if your pet is over or under weight by the knuckle test, it may be worth taking a trip to see your vet. Extra pounds on a cat or dog means higher odds of having arthritis, heart and respiratory conditions, heat stroke, skin conditions and a whole range of other related health problems.
If the conclusion is they need to shed a few pounds, here are 4 simple steps towards slimming down your pet:
1. No more table scraps.
2. Cut back on the treats.
3. More exercise! (incorporate slowly)
4. Stop free feeding.
The following information came from this article, http://www.mnn.com/family/pets/stories/wondering-if-your-pet-is-overweight-use-the-knuckle-test#ixzz3QbrnX342