55% of dogs and cats are overweight or obese. Several studies have shown that pets in ideal body condition live an average of 2.5 years longer. Our pets don’t live long enough as it is. Maintaining an appropriate weight is the key to longevity and is within our control. We love our pets no matter their size and shape. It is hard to ignore their request for more food or another treat. However, the impact of obesity can be devastating. Overweight pets are at an increased risk for osteoarthritis, diabetes, decreased immune function, liver problems, and even heart and respiratory disease. Whether we are discussing preventive medicine or trying to help a sick pet, body condition score and nutrition counseling are important aspects of every visit to River Cove.