Obesity in Pets

According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), pet obesity is an epidemic. A study conducted by Banfield Hospitals revealed that more than half of adult dogs seen in over 1,000 hospitals were overweight or obese.

Obesity is an accumulation of excess body fat usually caused by being overweight. Dogs are considered to be overweight if they are 10-20% above their ideal body weight and are labeled obese if they are 20% or more overweight.

Why Obesity in Pets is Harmful

Just like in humans, obesity in pets can lead to other chronic health conditions including heart disease, kidney disease, cancer, joint pain and diabetes. These diseases can lead to a shortened life span for your pet—which is a heartbreaking fact.

What Causes Obesity in Pets?

Obesity is a preventable disease in pets. Overfeeding is the most common cause of pet obesity. In addition to pet owners providing too much food, feeding pets “people food” or table scraps can also cause weight gain. Even small bites of table food can cause weight gain. Your dog should never get more than 8-10% of their caloric intake from human food.

Which Pets are More Obese?

Obesity can affect any breed of dog or cat—large or small. However, pugs are the dogs that are most often diagnosed as obese. In addition, more female pets are likely to be obese than males and neutered pets are more at risk. As they age, pets are more likely to become overweight. Obesity increased with age until age seven.

How Can I Tell if My Pet is Obese?

  • You should be able to see and feel your pet (dog or cat’s) ribs without excess fat covering them.
  • What shape is your pet? A round or oval shape indicates too much fat. Your dog’s and cat’s waist should be discernable from above.
  • If your pet’s belly sags or swings, your pet is likely overweight.
  • A pet with low energy is another symptom of obesity.

How Can I Help My Overweight Pet?

First, start by talking to a veterinarian. The vets and staff at Cimarron Animal Hospital can give you guidance for types of food best for your pet and other weight loss tips. Second, make sure your pet is active. Take them on walks, or run around with them in the yard. For cats, add new toys for them to play with or multi-level cat trees for them to jump on.

If you think your pet has an issue with obesity, contact the staff at Cimarron Animal Hospital for guidance and to get your pet back on a healthy track.

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  • We are scheduling appointments for curbside or drop-off patients only.
  • Unfortunately, we are unable to accept new patients at this time.
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Our updated hours are:
Mon., Wed., Fri. 8AM-5:30PM
Thursday 8AM-Noon
Saturday - CLOSED starting March 28

Please call our office or email us at [email protected] with questions about your pets.

If you need to bring your pet in for emergency care:

  • Please call when you get to our clinic so we can help determine the best way to help you and your pets.  We ask that you remain in your car and we will come to you.
  • We are escorting pets from your car into our hospital for exams, treatments, and drop off appointments to minimize everyone’s human exposure.
  • We ask that all dogs be on a leash and all cats and exotic pets be in a proper pet carrier or pet taxi.
  • In instances where owners must be present, we ask that only one family member be present and that you wait in your car until we call to let you know your exam room is ready for you.

Thank you for your understanding and just know we are trying our best to help everyone get through the COVID-19 pandemic. We are following the AVMA and KVMA guidelines during this difficult time.

We are here for you and your family, and thank you for your patience and understanding.

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