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Home / Articles / Pets / Ask the Pet Expert /  Is your Pet Overweight?
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Thursday, November 6,2014

Is your Pet Overweight?

By Pet Expert

Overweight dogs and cats suffer the same risks and consequences as people. Too much weight stresses bones and joints, strains the heart and internal organ, crowds the lungs, and turns a simple walk around the block into a major chore. Pet Obesity can result in dangerous diseases including:

Unfortunately an estimated 54 percent of dogs and cats in the U.S. are overweight or obese. Specifically:

• 30 percent of cats are overweight, and another 27 percent are obese, which means nearly 60 percent of U.S. cats are too heavy. That's 55 million overweight and 26 million obese cats out of a total of about 96 million pet cats.

• An estimated 36 percent of dogs are overweight, and another 17 percent are obese, for a total of 53 percent of the dog population. In round numbers, that's about 44 million overweight and 14 million obese dogs out of 83 million pet dogs. Sadly, these trends reflect the problem of obesity in the human population. Approximately 68 percent of American adults – 148 million -- are overweight or obese.

How to Determining a Healthy Pet Weight?

Underweight: Ribs vertebrae and pelvic bones are easily visible. From above, you can easily see the waist and abdominal tuck.

Ideal: Ribs can be felt but are not visible beneath the skin. A slight waist is visible from above. The abdominal is tucked, though not quite as pronounced as it is in the underweight dog.

Overweight: Fat covers the ribs but you can still feel them. The abdomen is rounded and the tuck is not obvious. Flanks are concave; the flank folds hang down and may jiggle.

Obese: Ribs and backbone are difficult to feel beneath the fat. The abdomen is rounded and the waist is not visible.

Easy Changes in Pet Diet… 

These three common sense guidelines are all you really need:

1. Feed a balanced, species-appropriate diet to your pet. Regardless of weight, your dog or cat still needs the right nutrition for her species, which means food that is high in animal protein and moisture, with no grain, corn or potato content.

2. Practice portion control -- usually a morning and evening meal, carefully measured. A moisture-rich, high-protein, low-carb diet with the right amount of calories for weight loss, controlled through the portions you feed, is what will take the weight off your dog or cat. And don't forget to factor in any calories from treats. 3. Regularly exercise your pet. An overweight body gets back in shape by taking in fewer calories and expending more energy. Daily exercise, including at least 20 minutes of consistent aerobic activity, will help your pet burn fat and increase muscle tone. More information or a FREE Diet & Nutritional consultation for your pet contact the Paw Depot and speak to your local Pet Expert.


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