Experts say pet owners need to understand ‘healthy weight’ in cats and dogs

Petmania’s Operation TransPAWmation launches today

Approximately 50 per cent of dogs and cats are overweight according to pet experts. More information is needed to help pet owners understand the key indicators of a healthy weight for their pets, according to the expert panel at Petmania’s Pet Care Advice Centre*.

Launching its sixth annual health and wellbeing programme ‘Operation TransPAWmation’, Petmania encourages pet-owners to pay particular attention to their pets’ Body Conditioning Score (BCS) to ensure optimal health for furry friends. The programme aims to prevent obesity in cats and dogs and highlight everyday steps to healthier pets. Pet owners can follow the eight-week healthy lifestyle programme, for free, by registering on www.petmania.ie


Vet Carol Doyle commented,  

“Some owners are aware of what a healthy weight is and then others have absolutely no idea. There is very little awareness of the BCS factors. Many go by the ‘general look’ but they may not know the official ribs, abdomen, waist check that gives an excellent indication of a pets’ overall health and condition.”


The BCS is a visual examination of the pet’s body ranked on a scale from one to nine. A score of one is too thin. Nine is dangerously obese. To check, pet owners should look and feel the pets’ ribs, abdomen and waist. The ribs should be easily felt under the skin. The abdomen should tuck up nicely under the back legs and the waistline should be narrower than their chest. This indicates a score of four or five.

The ideal score is four or five for a healthy pet which can be maintained with exercise and the correct nutrition. Pets that score higher may need to adjust their diet and exercise. Petmania is sharing simple tutorials and lots more healthy lifestyle tips throughout Operation TransPAWmation. The programme is designed around Petmania’s five ‘Pillars of Pet Care’ leading to healthier, happier pets.


The Five ‘Pillars of Pet Care’ are:

  1. Weight, Diet and Body Condition Score
  2. Exercise and Play
  3. Pet Dental Care
  4. Grooming
  5. Parasite protection and prevention


Emily Miller of Petmania explains,

“Body Conditioning Score is a gamechanger to maintaining a healthy weight for household pets. Even a small amount of overfeeding can lead to serious health problems over time. Through Operation TransPAWmation we hope to show pet owners how to recognise the early signs of weight gain in their cats and dogs and quickly correct it with fun activities, simple nutrition tips and weekly tutorials and challenges.”


Throughout February and March, Petmania is inviting pet owners to take part in Operation TransPAWmation starting with a weight-check in one of its 15 Petmania branches nationwide. The eight-week health and wellbeing programme will be run online with weekly updates, a food diary, exercise and diet hints and tips plus exciting weekly health steps to complete. As February is Pet Dental Health Month the experts at Operation TransPAWmantion will focus on dental care tips this month.


Those who sign up for Petmania OT will also get exclusive access to a special Webinar presented by Operation TransPAWmation’s panel of experts including Vets Carol Doyle and Bobby Ortiz. Dr Bob will be sharing his expert advice throughout Operation TransPAWmation and pet owners are invited to submit questions via Instagram.


Vet, Dr Bobby Ortiz explains,

“Obesity can lead to devastating health complications like arthritis, cardiorespiratory problems, diabetes and can shorten a pet’s life and affect their quality of life. However with the proper information and awareness of what and how much they are feeding their pets and with the correct quantity and quality of exercise it is easily managed. Simple steps can transform a pet’s quality of life and I’m looking forward to sharing my tips throughout Operation TransPAWmation.”


See Petmania.ie for more.