Obesity In Cats and Dogs
Obesity in dogs and cats is fast becoming a major problem in Britain’s pets. Up
to 1 in 3 household pets are overweight in the UK. Obesity can greatly increase
your pet’s risk of developing life threatening diseases.
There are many reasons to why your pet may be overweight, here are a few of
the more common reasons.
Excess feeding – this is the most common reason, as a pet owner, you have
control over how much your pet eats. Most feeds have recommended
guidelines but these are only guidelines. Each animal is individual and
requires different amounts.
Snacking – It is very easy to overfeed your pet if you are give lots of treats,
remember to a 10kg dog, 25g of cheese is the same as us eating 2 large
Age – Older animals are less active and require fewer calories to maintain a
Breed – Some breeds are more prone to gain weight easier. Labradors,
cocker spaniels and mix breed cats are the common breeds but this is not an
Neutering – Unfortunately, one side effect of having your pet neutered is
they become more prone to put on weight, however there are many healthy
and fit neutered animals within our practice.
Health Problems – There are a few health conditions that can cause an
increase in weight such as hypothyroidism in dogs, these are less common
but can be identified with testing.
How Do I Know If My Pet Is Overweight?
Vets identify overweight pets by using a Body Condition Score (BCS). It is a
scale from 0-9 (or 0-5) with 0 being extremely underweight to 9 being morbidly
With a healthy pet, you should be able to easily feel the ribs, spine and see a
waist. If you are having trouble feeling the ribs or seeing a waistline, then it is
likely that your pet is overweight.
Your pet’s weight is a great way of measuring progress with weight but you
using the BCS is the only way to tell if your pet is overweight. Please find a BCS
chart where you can assess your pet’s BCS.