1

How Did Pets Get So

Overweight?

Over the past 10 years we've seen an increase in overweight pets.

*Prevalence estimates are adjusted for age and differences in reporting over time.

Overfeeding

Pet owners sometimes use food and treats to show affection.

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Lack of Exercise

Like people, exercise is key to maintaining a healthy weight.

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It's the New Normal

Obesity is so common that many people underestimate their pet's body condition, preventing them from taking action to manage their pet's weight.

Other Diseases

Discomfort from diseases like arthritis can keep pets from being active, making it easier for pets to gain weight.

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Breed and Genetics

Some pet breeds are more prone to obesity.

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2

So What If Your Pet's

Plump?

While that extra squish may be cute, carrying extra weight around can have serious consequences for your dog or cat.

Test Your Knowledge on the Consequences of Obesity
(Click to reveal the answer)

  • Q

    What are examples of diseases in cats that can be complicated by obesity?

    A
    • Diabetes Mellitus
    • Orthopedic diseases, such as Arthritis
    • Respiratory diseases, such as Feline Asthma
  • Q

    What are examples of diseases in dogs that can be complicated by obesity?

    A
    • Orthopedic diseases, such as Arthritis
    • Respiratory diseases, such as Tracheal Collapse
    • Urinary incontinence caused by a Urethral Sphincter Disorder
  • Q

    How much more do owners spend on health care for overweight dogs vs. dogs at a healthy weight?

    A

    Owners of overweight dogs spend 17% more on health care and nearly 25% more on medications. Furthermore, one estimate indicates that an additional $2,026 per year for dogs is spent on obesity-related conditions.

  • Q

    How much more do owners spend on health care for overweight cats vs. cats at a healthy weight?

    A

    Owners of overweight cats spend 36% more on diagnostic procedures. Furthermore, one estimate indicates that an additional $1,178 per year for cats is spent on obesity-related conditions.

Test Your Knowledge on the Consequences of Obesity
(Click to reveal the answer)

Q

What are examples of diseases in cats that can be complicated by obesity?

A
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Orthopedic diseases, such as Arthritis
  • Respiratory diseases, such as Feline Asthma
Q

What are examples of diseases in dogs that can be complicated by obesity?

A
  • Orthopedic diseases, such as Arthritis
  • Respiratory diseases, such as Tracheal Collapse
  • Urinary incontinence caused by a Urethral Sphincter Disorder
Q

How much more do owners spend on health care for overweight dogs vs. dogs at a healthy weight?

A

Owners of overweight dogs spend 17% more on health care and nearly 25% more on medications. Furthermore, one estimate indicates that an additional $2,026 per year for dogs is spent on obesity-related conditions.

Q

How much more do owners spend on health care for overweight cats vs. cats at a healthy weight?

A

Owners of overweight cats spend 36% more on diagnostic procedures. Furthermore, one estimate indicates that an additional $1,178 per year for cats is spent on obesity-related conditions.

3

How Can You Tell if Your Pet is

Overweight?

Use this body condition score guide to determine if your pet is overweight, underweight or ideal weight.

What is My Pet's Body Condition Score?

Click through these 5 body condition scores and compare with your pet's appearance. Are his or her ribs, spine and hip bones barely detectable when touched? Can you see a defined waist? Do you notice any belly fat?

DOG
CAT
1
2
3
4
5

Very Thin

Severely defined ribs and waist.

Side View
Overhead View
4

How Do You Keep Your Pet From Being

Pudgy?

Determine Your Pet's Nutritional Needs

It's best to consult with your veterinarian about your pet's nutritional needs, but you can use our helpful guide in the meantime.

Learn More About Your Pet's Nutrition Learn More

Come Up with a Plan

Partner with your veterinarian to develop the most appropriate weight loss plan for your pet.

More Play, Less Weight

Get your cat to play with a jingle ball, feather teaser or laser pointer. Take your dog on a walk, play catch or hide snacks in a treat toy.

Take It Easy on the Treats

You may be tempted to reward your cat or dog with human food, but even in small quantities, it can represent a large percent of your pet's daily caloric intake.

Interact with the chart below to see the impact different foods have on your pet's weight.

Cat
Toy/Small Dog
Medium Dog
Large Dog
Giant Dog
227
Daily calorie intake based on a 10-lb cat

Milk
13%
2oz 2% milk: 30 cal

Tuna
16%
1oz canned tuna: 36 cal

Cheese
50%
1oz cheese: 114 cal

Meat
20%
1 slice deli meat ham: 46 cal

Tip

Try rewarding your good boy or girl with belly rubs, toys or low-calorie snacks like baby carrots for dogs.

View our State of Pet Health infographic for pet owners.

Download Infographic Download Infographic

All statistics calculated by the Banfield Applied Research and Knowledge Team based on 2.5 million dogs and 505,000 cats seen at Banfield Hospitals in 2016.