Keep Pets at a Healthy Weight

Signs your pet is overweight and tips on how to help them lose the extra pounds.

| January 14, 2013

Family Pet

Proper nutrition and exercise are as important for pets as they are for humans.


Obesity and being overweight are human health problems that get a lot of attention from doctors and the media. What hasn’t gotten as much attention is the fact that many pets are suffering from the very same problems.

The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention estimates that 88.4 million dogs and cats in the United States – 54 percent – are overweight or obese. And that can lead to health problems such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and even some cancers.

Many pet owners aren’t even aware that their pets are overweight. A study from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine found that 22 percent of dog owners and 15 percent of cat owners described their pets as being normal weight, when they were actually overweight or obese.

What's a little extra weight for your pet? A lot. Just two pounds of extra weight on a Chihuahua would be equivalent to more than 60 additional pounds on an adult human, and four extra pounds on a 10-pound Siamese cat would be equivalent to almost 40 extra pounds on a human.

Signs Your Cat is Overweight: 

Is it difficult to feel her ribs or spine?
Is it difficult to see your cat's waist?
Is her abdomen sagging?

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