An obese pet has excessive accumulation of body fat. It is the most common form of malnutrition in pets and it can have profound negative effects on body function.
Check to see if your pet is overweight with this Body Condition Score chart.
How Do Pets Become Overweight?
When energy intake, calories, consistently exceeds daily energy expenditure. Undoubtedly there are numerous environmental and social factors that contribute, including decreased daily exercise as a result of confinement to the house and overfeeding. Snacks and treats often contribute to excess daily caloric intake.
- Easy access to food. Do you feed your pet or do you feed the bowl?
- Energy dense, palatable food
- Multiple pets in the house. Your pets may compete over the food bowl, or the human attention. This can promote begging behaviors and/or overeating.
- Spaying and neutering. It has been shown that spaying and neuters, especially male cats, will decrease activity but increase appetite. Preventing weight gain after having your pets spayed or neutered is much easier than losing the weight after it is gained.
- Once overweight, pet is always at risk for being overweight – metabolism is a lot slower after weight loss
- Genetics- Some breeds are predisposed to excessive weight gain, such as Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels, Beagles, etc.
- Less the 5% of pet obesity is attributed to an underlying disease. Therefore, you should consult your veterinarian prior to starting a weight loss plan.