Silent Culprit: The Causes and Treatment of Pet Obesity

pet obesityIt might start with a little extra begging between meals or cute, treat-worthy antics. Sometimes, pets are allowed to free-feed, a practice that inhibits portion and calorie control. Other times, owners feel guilty for leaving their pet alone and decide to treat them. Since pets don’t typically feed or exercise themselves, the root of pet obesity is overfeeding. However, there is good news. Pet obesity is entirely preventable and, once diagnosed, manageable!

The Long View

An extra pound on an animal like a cat or a small dog is equivalent to 15 extra pounds on an otherwise average, healthy adult woman. This excess weight causes wear and tear on the joints and places serious strain on the heart, lungs, and other major internal organs.

The best thing you can do for your pet’s long-term health and wellness is to prevent any extra weight gain. Keep a close eye not only on how many calories your pet needs, but also how many they consume each day. Providing excellent food and plenty of exercise is also critical to keep any potential pounds off your pet’s silhouette.

Beyond the Basics

Another important way to prevent pet obesity is to maintain routine wellness checks. We maintain exact records of your pet’s health, and if there are any changes to your pet’s physique, such as weight, we tune in closely.

Between regular visits, it’s necessary to observe your pet’s physique and notify us regarding any drastic differences that may indicate a larger problem. Bloodwork and other diagnostics may be ordered to rule out medical conditions related to weight gain.

Taking Measurements Seriously

It’s imperative to serve high-quality food, but more importantly, the portions must be exact and consistent every day. Based on your pet’s current weight, target weight, and typical activity level, these measured portions should be offered at the same time each day.


Everyone loves snacks. Prevention and treatment of pet obesity doesn’t exclude snacks, but instead of crunchy, packaged ones, try raw fruits and veggies instead. Remember, keep onions, garlic, grapes and raisins out of reach to avoid toxicity!

Get Out There!

If your pet’s daily exercise routine has become more of a grind, shake it up a bit. Take them to new locations, have your pet come along for errands, and introduce them to new friends and activities. However you choose to get going, you’ll be doing your part to reduce pet obesity symptoms and complications.

Kick Pet Obesity to the Curb

With more than half of all domestic pets being overweight or obese, the time has come to focus on the prevention and management of pet obesity. If we can assist you with any questions or concerns, please let our veterinary team know. We’re always here for your pet!

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About Rutland Veterinary Clinic and Surgical Center

Rutland Veterinary Clinic and Surgical Center provides top-quality veterinary care to the Rutland, VT pet community.