Is Your Dog or Cat Obese?

August 25, 2016 at 9:00 AM by Nikki Wardle

Dog Cat Overweight

Any pet owner wants to extend the life of their beloved dog or cat. The many years of companionship and love you get with your pet are never enough. That's why many pet owners realize that it's time to get their dog or cat's weight and diet under control, as obesity in pets can significantly shorten their lifespan.

Is your dog or cat obese? If so, unfortunately, they're among the majority. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention estimates that at least 58% of cats and 54% of dogs in the U.S. are overweight or obese. But perhaps more troubling, around 90% of pet owners with obese pets don't realize that their dog or cat needs to lose weight. Maybe this is due to their animals look healthy to them, or perhaps it's because so many other pets look overweight and obese. Whatever the reason, it's worrisome that the humans with the ability to improve their pets' health aren't aware that they need to.

How to Spot Obesity in Your Pet

With that said, it's time to give your dog or cat a thorough examination and determine whether he or she is overweight or obese. Here's how you can tell whether your pet should lose weight.

  • Does your cat or dog look oval from above? Overweight or obese cats and dogs will have a different shape that one in good health; from above, they will look oval in shape with belly protruding on both sides.

  • Your pet's pelvis is hard to feel: If you can't feel the bones around the base of your pet's tail (his or her pelvis), then it's likely he or she is overweight.

  • You can see excess fat: Fat will often accumulate around your pet's neck, hips, and abdomen.

  • You can't feel your pet's ribs: Finally, you should be able to feel or even see the outline of your pet's ribs. If not, he or she is overweight or obese.

Are you concerned about your pet's health? Bring your dog or cat into our clinic for an nutrition consultation, or contact us with any questions.

Topics: Fear Free

Nikki Wardle

Written by Nikki Wardle

Nikki has been writing for Intermountain Pet Hospital since 2014.