Pet charity PDSA’s advice for getting your pet in shape in 2021 – News & Star

With 2021 here many people will be thinking about getting in better shape in the New Year. It’s also a great time for your pet to join in too!

PDSA Vet Nurse Nina Downing said: “Excess weight can lead to serious health problems including arthritis, back problems and breathing problems, particularly for flat-faced breeds, as well as reducing your pet’s lifespan. Too many calories and not enough exercise cause weight gain but, with some simple changes, owners can get their pet’s weight under control.”

PDSA’s website has a handy guide for owners to check their pet’s body shape, including helpful pictures on how to check dogs, cats and rabbits.

Nina added: “When you stroke your pet you should be able to just feel your pet’s ribs and spine under their skin, but they shouldn’t be sticking out. If you have to press down to feel them, then your pet is probably overweight. A healthy body shape has an ‘hourglass figure’ visible from above, as your pet should tuck in at the waist. It can be trickier to see the hourglass shape in very fluffy dogs, so you’ll need to smooth down their fur to see if they have this shape underneath.”

The assessment is called Body Condition Scoring and is really useful to help you figure out if your pet is the right weight.

Nina said: “If you think your pet’s overweight, take them for a