Pet Obesity and How It Affects Pet Health

pet cat sitting indoors.

October 13 is Pet Obesity Awareness Day, and your friends at Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates want to help you keep your pets in the best shape. From the food they eat to the amount of it they consume, keeping your pet at a healthy weight is essential for overall wellness. Here are some tips on ensuring your pets are as healthy as they can be:

A Growing Problem

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, in 2018, about 60 percent of cats and 56 percent of dogs were considered overweight. Pets who are overweight or obese are much more likely to suffer from severe health issues like:

  • Diabetes
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Skin issues
  • Orthopedic issues
  • Decreased life expectancy 

Pet owners often do not even realize that their pet is considered overweight, which is why it is important to take your animals to the veterinarian for regular wellness visits

Pet Obesity—How to Help

If you think your pet might be packing a few too many pounds, there are plenty of ways you can help get him or her back to a healthy weight.

Decrease Food Amounts: Sometimes humans worry they are not giving their animals enough food, but we have to remember that they are much smaller than we are. Talk to your veterinarian about the proper amount of food to feed your pet.

Avoid Treats: Treats are a sneaky source of calories that could be negatively impacting your pet’s weight. If you are really trying to help him or her lose weight, stop giving treats.

Get Moving: Exercise is very helpful for overweight pets. Take your dog on a few short walks during the day until he or she can start doing longer walks. Get some cat toys that encourage your cat to move (like laser pointers or a wheel to run on). 

Get a Wellness Check: Sometimes weight gain can be indicative of a larger health issue at play. Conditions like hypothyroidism or Cushing’s Syndrome can cause weight gain even in pets who are eating a healthy amount of food.

The Team at Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates is here to help you with every aspect of your pet’s health and wellness. To learn more about our services or to schedule your next appointment, give us a call at (248) 646–5655.