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    Pet-to-Human Weight Translator: How much would your pet weigh if it were you?
    Ernie Ward, DVM posted:
    Check out this Pet-to-Human Weight Translator from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.

    Enjoy (and stay fit!),

    Dr. Ernie
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    srstephanie responded:
    Hi Dr Ward,

    I agree that pet obesity is a problem and something we pet owners need to work on.

    I wonder if the better way to judge obesity in cats is to use the Body Condition Score ... e.g. the one by Purina:

    I took a look at the Pet-to-Human Weight Translator ... for cats. It might be better for dogs since they are broken down into breeds and the general size is more uniform within a particular breed. But the cat seems to have ALL cats lumped together. Cats come in different sizes ... i.e. bone structures ... as well. Ten pounds on a Korat, Russian Blue, Devon or Cornish Rex, Burmese, etc is going to be a lot different than 10 pounds on a Maine Coon, RagaMuffin, Ragdoll, Siberian, etc.

    The BCS can help determine if a cat is a good weight for the size frame it has. Maybe someone can break down the "Pet-to-Human Weight Translator" for cats as they did for dogs. Meanwhile, it may mislead some people to think a cat with the frame of a Maine Coon is somehow overweight at 12 lbs when it might actually be underweight for it's frame.

    Just some thoughts.

    Stephanie in Montreal
    Ernie Ward, DVM replied to srstephanie's response:
    Thanks for your reply. You may have missed this on the cat weight chart:

    "Cats — Domestic short, medium and long-haired"

    For a few pure-breed cats, this would not apply.

    In the US, the VAST majority of cats are...well, cats: DSH, DMH or DLH. From our national data on obesity over the past four years, there is a strong trend toward much more uniformity among cats than dogs.

    The point is, if you're in the US with a "normal" cat that weighs 14 pounds - it's too much! This tool helps illustrate that.

    Purrs, Dr. Ernie
    Ponyrun2 responded:
    I have some questions regarding the BCS for dogs....

    First of all... when feeling for the ribs... how far from the spine do you feel ? With my dogs the closer to the spine the harder it is to feel their ribs (I can still feel them without too much trouble)....

    2nd... my male has never really had a "waist" or "Abdominal tuck"... he's always pretty much been a rectangle with legs, even as a baby... his sister, I've noticed recently, has lost her "girlish figure" and is looking more like a rectangle with legs like her brother.... seems like I started to notice this about 2 months ago when I took in a 5 month puppy.... and, no, she hasn't gotten into the puppy's food (the puppy is fed in her crate) and some days she won't even finish her food...

    I'm hoping the new puppy is going to "fill out" some as she gets older... right now, although no bones are really showing and she's gained about 7 to 10 pounds in the 2 months I've had her, she is still skinny (but completely healthy)... she falls between the "too thin" and "ideal" BCS....

    I feed a "premium" chicken/rice/oatmeal dry food to all 3 (the large breed puppy version for the puppy)... What can I add to their food so I can cut back on the kibble but still have it nutritious and satisfying ??

    PS - the older dogs are 6 year old Mastiff mixes although the boy looks like a Mastiff mix, his sister truly looks like a large Basenji (or possibly Akita) mix... the puppy (a spayed female) is 7 months old, possibly a Coonhound/Lab mix....
    Ernie Ward, DVM replied to Ponyrun2's response:
    Vets typically feel the ribs around the 4th to 5th rib - near the front-middle of the chest. You should be able to feel the ribs easily, not as though you're digging through jelly. If you can't count 'em...

    The abdominal tuck is especially important. If your pup's tummy sags, that indicates excess intra-abdominal fat: "belly fat" that is the most biologically active. This fat is pumping out harmful adipocytokines 24/7. It's hard to get real about our pet's (and our own) weight sometimes. Keep in mind this isn't about looking good in a bikini; it's about staying healthy and preventing serious diseases. Make sure your vet is assessing your pet's weight during each visit.

    Definitely check out my book "Chow Hounds: Why Our Dogs Are Getting Fatter - A Vet's Plan to Save Their Lives" for recipes, supplements, exercises, how to choose pet foods, etc.

    Stay healthy, Dr. Ernie

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