Is Your Four-Legged Friend Fit or Fat?

Getty ImagesGetty ImagesJudging by the 90-degree weather outside my door, summer - and swimsuit season - is fast approaching. For a lot of us, that means the start (or re-start) of an exercise regimen and a (in my case, dreaded) check in with the scale. Evaluating your fitness from time to time is always a good idea, but while you're at it, why not check in on the fit-or-fatness of your four-legged friend?

The first thing you should do is research the standard for your dog or cat's breed. Find out the standard weight for your pet and use it as a guideline.

Next, give your pet the once-over. Feel his or her ribs. You should be able to locate them easily, and tell where each rib is. A little fat in this area is OK, and actually ideal - but if you can't feel your pet's ribs at all, it's time to lay off the table scraps.

After you've checked your pet's ribs, check the other bones on his or her body. Things shouldn't be protruding or poking out. If you notice that they are - go ahead and refill that food bowl.

Lastly, check out your pet from the side and get an overhead view of his or her body. You should see a definite waist behind the ribs, and a slight abdominal tuck should be visible from the side.

If you're still not exactly sure how your pet shapes up, there's always the Wii. The system's Wii Fit Plus lets you weigh your pet, and even lets you create an avatar that shows every extra pound.

Have you had an overweight or underweight pet? What tips do you have for getting them back into ideal shape?