Is Your Pet Obese?

July 19, 2016 at 9:00 AM by Nikki Wardle

Pudgy dog

You're probably fairly used to hearing about the obesity epidemic among humans. It's in the news, it's in public policy, and it's in our minds while we begin to learn how to help individuals lead healthier lives. But did you know that humans are the only ones whose weights are on the rise? Recent studies have shown that pets are now becoming more overweight and obese. Here's how you can help your dog or cat buck the trend and stay healthy.

Keeping Your Pet a Healthy Weight

A recent survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention showed that around 58% of cats and 54% of dogs evaluated met the criteria for being overweight or obese. These numbers are as shocking as they are saddening; that means that over half of the pets in America are leading potentially shortened, unhealthy lives due to their weight.

So how can you stem the tide for your own pet's health? Obesity and weight issues aren't always cut and dried; sometimes more than one factor is at play in why your pet could be overweight. But there are a few common sense places you can start.

  • Is your pet eating the right portion? If you talk to your vet about what a daily portion of food should look like, you may be surprised. Many pet owners feed their animals on demand, and especially dogs will react by overeating. If your pet is overweight or obese, the best place to start is by working with your veterinarian to control their portion sizes.

  • Is your pet getting enough exercise? Dogs and cats both need appropriate exercise on a regular basis to stay healthy. Bonus: Keeping your pet active could make you more active, as well.

  • Is your pet eating the wrong foods? Finally, be sure that your dog or cat isn't overdosing on human food or treats. For some pets, losing weight could be as simple as giving up the snacks, treats, and table scraps that keep them eating all day instead of only at meal times.

If you're concerned about your pet's weight or health, we're here to help. Call us today for a free first exam.

Topics: Animal Hospital Near Me

Nikki Wardle

Written by Nikki Wardle

Nikki has been writing for Intermountain Pet Hospital since 2014.