Resource Center Menu

Overweight Dog or Cat?

  • Just like people, the most common cause of weight gain in pets is too much food and not enough exercise.
  • Unhealthy weight gain in your pet can lead to serious health problems such as fatigue, arthritis, heart disease, difficulty breathing, joint strain, and diabetes or bladder cancer.
  • Pets with unlimited access to food often become overweight.
  • The biggest nutritional problem for older pets is obesity.
  • Feeding table scraps or home-cooked meals to your pet can lead to obesity.
  • Older, less active pets are especially prone to weight gain.
  • Lower calorie pet foods contain less fat and more fiber, which allows your pet to consume fewer calories, but still feel full.
  • A balanced diet, regular exercise and routine check-ups can help keep your pet's weight at an ideal level.
  • Always check the feeding recommendations on the package of your pet's food for the suggested portion amount.
  • If your pet is consistently leaving food behind at mealtime, gradually reduce the amount you provide until you find the right balance.
  • Free feeding (always having food available), can cause overeating, and if you have more than one pet, it can cause your pets to steal food from each other.
  • With scheduled feedings, you have the ability to feed your pet the appropriate amount of food.
  • Spoiling your dog with frequent treats can cause obesity, make your dog finicky and make your dog a relentless beggar.
  • As a general rule of thumb, treats shouldn't account for more than 10% of your dog's total food intake per day.
  • As your puppy enters into adulthood, a diet less rich in calories, protein and fat is necessary to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Call your veterinarian if you notice your cat overeating, but not gaining weight, as this could be an indication of diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism or gastrointestinal parasites.
  • Before beginning any weight loss strategy, consult with your veterinarian, who can assess your pet's condition and rule out any underlying weight-gain causes.
  • Keeping your cat entertained with regular play is not only fun and important for bonding time, but it also helps keeps your feline fit.
  • If your cat is overweight, try switching to a specially formulated weight control formula, but do so slowly over a period of 7–10 days.
  • Pet weight issues usually creep up slowly over time.
  • Call your veterinarian right away if your pet suddenly develops a potbelly, as it could be a serious medical problem like bloat, heart disease, liver disease or cancer.
  • Regular exercise helps your pet stay healthy and fit and encourages happiness and relaxation.
  • Different breeds of dogs require different exercise routines. The average adult dog needs about 20 to 45 minutes of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, twice a day.
  • An overweight dog strains their heart and joints with every movement, so talk to your veterinarian before you start an exercise routine.
  • Walking is a great weight management activity for your dog as it doesn't stress joints, can be done in almost any weather and lets you and your pet get out and explore.
  • You'll need to adjust your pet's routine to suit its age and physical condition, so consult with your veterinarian periodically for advice.