Pet Obesity

Obesity is a preventable disease. A pet that is obese is 30% or more over their ideal body weight. In the pet population, one in five pets suffers from obesity. Our pets become obese through a combination of excessive caloric intake and inadequate exercise. Many of us bond with our pets by feeding them treats. Unfortunately, these seemingly small treats add up quickly and lead to excess weight in our pets. The excess fat that weighs down your pet leads to many costly conditions and may shorten your pet’s life span. Overweight pets have more visits to the veterinarian to manage problems such as arthritis, diabetes, skin problems and heart and lung disease. 

To help you determine if your pet is at an ideal weight, you can use a body condition scoring system:
5 Point Scale
9 Point Scale
Ideal Weight
A pet at an ideal weight has the following characteristics:
  • Ribs are felt readily under the skin without excess fat deposits
  • Clear demarcation of the waistline
  • Abdomen draws up, does not droop
Our team is committed to developing a weight loss plan for your pet. For successful weight loss:
    • There must be commitment from all family members.
    • Change in feeding habits. Bond with your pet through play and/or attention instead of offering treats. These habits are hard to break, especially for your pet. When your pet begs for food, help them break their habits by distracting them with a toy, taking them for a walk or playing catch with a ball.
    • Increased activity level. Your pet may not want to exercise because of underlying joint pain. Pain-relieving medications will alleviate pain and encourage your pet to move around.
  • Determine caloric needs to promote weight loss. Our veterinary team will help you find the right diet and amount to feed your pet.
  • Frequent weigh-ins. Bring your pet to the clinic so we can monitor your pet’s weight loss and make adjustments to your pet’s weight loss plan as necessary.
  • Offer alternative treats in moderation. Ideal treats include green beans, carrots and plain rice cakes. Any treats given should not exceed 10% of the daily calorie intake.
  • Celebrate successes!