By now we should all be aware of how important it is to maintain both a good body weight and body fat percentage in order to live a healthy, happy life.
The same principle applies to our cats, dogs, hamsters and other furry friends too, as Veterinarians often rely on the use of highly accurate scales to take readings from pets in order to identify potential threats to their health.
Why is our pet’s weight important?
There are a number of health problems which can arise if our pets become too heavy or, similarly, if they are provided with insufficient nutrients.
Too many post-walk treats can cause your dog (or cat, we’re not judging) to put on considerable amounts of weight over time and this can place undue stress on their joints as a result.
This is dangerous as it can speed up the process of developing conditions such as arthritis or, if this is already present, even intensify existing symptoms.
Furthermore, obese animals can, in just the same way as humans, encounter problems with breathing as their lungs are forced to work harder to move a larger amount of weight.
For cats in particular, hepatic lipidosis is a liver disease which is known to occur commonly in obese animals and can often be life threatening.
This occurs when a cat enters “starvation mode” and its body is forced to convert fat stores into usable energy due to a lack of nutrients. If this persists for an extended period of time, build ups of fat can begin to form in the liver and it is at this point the disease will be diagnosable.
In extreme cases, obesity can lead to a very serious condition called intervertebral disc disease (or IVDD for short). This can result in compression of the spine and even render dogs paralysed if it isn’t treated quickly.
How can vet scales help?
Whilst we are largely responsible for the health of our pets, there can be times when a supposedly ‘perfect’ diet and exercise regime are not sufficient, and their bodyweight begins to fall out of line.
This comes in addition to visual clues such as irritated skin and unkempt fur. Vets can analyse the weight of our pets to identify whether any dietary changes should be implemented or if there are existing health issues which need to be treated.
Just because your pet looks healthy, doesn’t mean they are.
High Body fat percentage, fatty deposits and weak muscles are relatively hard to spot, especially for the typical owner lacking medical training.
Furthermore, anomalous results and even small deviations from body weight trends can be warning signs of impending health conditions. This is why having highly accurate weighing scales with precise readability (the smallest recordable increment of weight) is crucial to protect your pets.
Getting your vet to frequently analyse the weight of your pet and carry out any relevant visual examinations will help to keep your companion’s health in tip top condition. Specilaist veterinary scales include small devices designed to weigh mice and hamsters up to larger machinery for cats and dogs. This is the closest thing to an actual dog weighing scale!
We all remember the weight of our children and it’s a common question to ask after someone gives birth but it’s a metric which is just as important for the health of pets as it is for our human offspring.
Measuring the weight of your cat, dog or any other house animal you choose to keep and comparing it with healthy averages can allow vets to make more informed decisions on which nutrients (and possibly medication) to recommend.
As well as helping safeguard them against nasty diseases, monitoring the weight of your animals during the early years will also help to ensure they receive optimum nutrition until they are fully grown.
The bodyweight and body fat percentage of our pets are incredibly important statistics to obtain and monitor and are one of the ways vets are able to identify, prevent and treat a wide range of health conditions.
Learn more about Solent Scales’ services for weighing equipment by clicking here.