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Pet Obesity: Is Your Pet Overweight?

By October 6, 2020 Small Animal

Did you know that according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), more that 56% of dogs and 60% of cats are classified as overweight or obese.  If you are looking at your pet and wondering if it is overweight, here are some things you can check:

  • Can you feel the ribs and spine? On an ideal body type you should be able to feel the ribs and spine with a little layer of tissue over it.
  • Does he have an hourglass figure? You should be able to see and feel your pet’s waist. It should be clearly visible when viewed from above.
  • You should also be able to see the tummy tucked up when viewed from the side.

You may be thinking, “So what? My animal is overweight; there is just more of him to love.”  This may be the case; however, pet obesity can cause some serious health problems, and make existing ones worse, which can reduce your beloved pet’s life span and decrease his quality of life. Some conditions are:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Respiratory compromise (difficulty breathing)
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Osteoarthritis (lameness, joint pain etc.)
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased anesthetic risks
  • Lower immune function
  • Cancer

Your Vet may have told you that “Fluffy” should lose a little bit of weight, but did you know that for cats and small dogs 1 lb overweight = 10 lbs overweight for humans? For large breed dogs 1 lb overweight = 5 lbs overweight on a human? Even if Fluffy is only 5 lbs overweight (if we think about it in human weight), Fluffy would be a 50 lb overweight human!

What is the next step for losing weight?

*Feed a specific weight loss food to guarantee the appropriate amount of nutrients, as decreasing regular food could be depriving your pet of its dietary needs.

* Increase exercise slowly

  • More frequent walks
  • Hiding daily food food portion throughout the house to encourage their hunting instinct
  • Throw treats of toys up stairs
  • Use food toys or puzzles

* Decrease food intake

  • With measured meals
  • Keep a food diary
  • use a portion of meals as treats for the day

*Consult your Veterinarian with any questions


If you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s weight, talk to one of our team members at Coventry Animal Hospital.


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