Obesity in pets is generally defined as occurring when an animal’s body weight is at least 20% greater than its optimal body weight. By that definition, we then need to determine what the optimal weight for your pet is. The optimal weight will vary between breeds of each species and the easiest way to determine if your pet is at its optimal weight is to use a body condition chart and understand the guidelines. Click on the charts below to enlarge
Although some breeds may be more prone to obesity or becoming overweight, no one is immune and can occur in any animal if their diet and lifestyle is inappropriate.
Signs that your pet may be overweight can be the fat deposits on various parts of the body, the lack of grooming activity performed, showing less mobility and difficulty breathing. Even though there may be more of them to love, obesity in pets should be addressed to enhance their quality of life.
When your pet becomes overweight for its size, it raises some concerns with their overall health. In the long run, pet obesity can potentially cause issues with osteoarthritis, heart disease, liver disease, skin problems, diabetes and back problems. There is also an increased risk with general anaesthetics if the pet requires surgery and there can also be an exacerbation of brachycephalic syndrome (respiratory issues with short faced animals, both dogs and cats).
If you are concerned or even questioning about your pet being overweight, the first step will be to organise a consultation with your veterinarian. Your treating vet will complete a thorough exam and determine why your pet may be overweight. Is it due to their diet being high in calories? Is it that they don’t get enough exercise? Is it genetic? Do those “puppy eyes” just want to make you give them that extra treat for being so cute?
Whatever the case may be, we can formulate a program suited to your pet’s needs which may be breed and age specific. We will incorporate a diet plan, exercise regime and weekly weigh-in checks to ensure everyone is on the right track for weight loss.
Getting your pet to optimum health will not only improve their quality of life but may even boost that special bond between you and your best friend