To tell if your pet could shed a few pounds, feel around their ribs and spine. You should be able to locate both with only a thin layer of fat separating the skin from the bones. If you can’t find the ribcage, you have an overweight pet.

Ask your veterinarian to evaluate your pet’s size at every check-up. Once your dog or cat reaches maturity, ask for their optimal weight. As a rule of thumb, 15% above that weight is obese; zero to 15% is overweight. If your pet falls into either category, they are not alone. Sadly, over 50% of pets are considered overweight.