Tag Archives: overweight pets

Is My Pet Too Fat?

black and white cartoon of a fat catIf you’re asking the question ‘Is my pet too fat,’ the answer is probably YES. 

In the U.S., it’s estimated that 57 percent of cats and 52 percent of dogs are overweight or clinically obese.

October 10th is Pet Obesity Awareness Day, so it’s a great time for people who think their pet may be too fat to learn about the common causes of obesity in pets. Good information means you can act before excess weight negatively impacts your pet’s health, along with your heart and your wallet. Nobody needs extra vet bills.

How Pets Get FAT

Overfeeding is one of the main culprits in pet obesity – but it’s not just treat-based. Many people simply fill their pet’s bowl with food without thinking about the calories. Always use a measuring cup and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for weight, age and activity levels.

black and white cartoon dog begging for a treatKeep treats to a minimum. It’s easy to slip treats to a pet that wants your attention while you’re busy with something else.

Next it’s because they look so cute, sweet, sad.

If your pet learns you’ll reward them for a particular behavior, they’ll work it for everything they can get.

Lack of exercise is another issue – make sure your dog gets walks regularly (it’s good for you both) and that both cats and dogs get plenty of play time and activities to keep them moving. Even cats can be trained to walk on a leash – why not give it a try?

Remember, obesity in pets is not always due too many treats and too little exercise. Just as in humans, underlying health issues like diabetes, thyroid or adrenal disorders can also cause weight gain in animals. If your pet is gaining weight, or already overweight or obese, it’s time to schedule a visit to the vet. 

Check out your pet’s weight equivalent by breed, age and gender here to see if they are at a healthy weight or need to lose weight: http://www.petobesityprevention.org/pet-weight-translator/