Obesity is a preventable condition that occurs when
excess fat accumulates in the body. An estimated 60%
of cats and 56% of dogs in the US are now overweight
or obese. This worrying statistic highlights the fact that obesity is a major health threat to our pets.
Excess weight can also shorten a pet’s life span and negatively impact their overall health and wellbeing.
The most common contributing factors to obesity are overfeeding, poor diet, and lack of exercise. Older pets are more susceptible to the condition as their capacity to exercise decreases with age. Certain health conditions such as hypothyroidism and insulinoma can also lead to weight gain and obesity in pets.
The main symptoms of obesity are weight gain and excess body fat. Overweight and obese pets may also display symptoms such as lethargy, exercise intolerance, respiratory problems, and loss of mobility.
By comparison, overweight and obese pets will have fat deposits which make locating the ribs and hip bones more difficult. They will also have a poorly defined waistline or rounded abdomen.
It is also possible to examine your pet at home. Please ask us for more information about using a good method to monitor your pet’s weight.
If your pet is diagnosed as overweight or obese, we will work with you to create a realistic weight loss plan. A nutritionally balanced, low-fat diet is usually recommended along with frequent exercise and monitoring of your pet’s weight. It will also be necessary to restrict treats and avoid feeding table scraps. Please follow our recommendations closely to help your pet achieve a healthy weight.
The best way to prevent your pet from becoming overweight or obese is to feed a healthy, balanced diet and provide plenty of exercise. It is also important to monitor your pet’s weight and take them for regular veterinary checkups. Please consult with us for more information on choosing an appropriate diet and exercise routine for your pet.
Below is a wonderful handout on pet obesity with breed ideal weight ranges that you can print: