Can you tell if your pet is overweight? With more than half of U.S. pets overweight, it’s likely your pet may need to shed a few pounds. 

According to a recent study by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, an estimated 59.5% percent of cats and 55.8% of dogs in the U.S. are considered to be overweight or obese, putting them at risk for long-term health conditions, including: 

  • Diabetes 
  • Cancer 
  • Arthritis and other inflammatory conditions 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Diseases of the kidney, respiratory, and cardiovascular system 

Extra weight also creates more stress on the pet’s body, causing slower movement and can lead to a number of life-threatening issues. 

You may find it hard to tell if your pet is living their healthiest lifestyle. You can start by evaluating your pet’s overall body condition. Click here to learn how to evaluate a dog’s body condition, and here for cats. Fit exercise into your pet’s daily routine and follow the recommended portions and feeding instructions on your pet’s food label.   

Keep in mind, though, that feeding instructions on your pet’s food only provide guidelines and are not tailored to your pet’s individual needs. The best way to tell if your pet needs to lose weight or make lifestyle changes is to start with a veterinary exam. 

The veterinarian will examine your pet and use body-condition scoring (similar to the chart linked above) to determine if a change in lifestyle, meal portions, or diet may be needed. If your pet should lose a few pounds, a weight-management prescription diet may help your pet reach their optimum weight.  

Essential Tip: A veterinary exam is included in our wellness packages. View all services and pricing to find the best fit for your pet.