Why Being Overweight Matters

 1 in 3 pets is overweight or obese*.  With so many pets being overweight it can be difficult as owners to notice that our pets are getting heavier, as being overweight gradually becomes the new norm.  

  • As little as 20% overweight can greatly increase the risk of your pet developing diabetes mellitus, urinary stones or heart disease.  
  • Being overweight puts extra pressure on the joints and can lead to arthritis or worsen the symptoms of existing conditions.
  • Excess weight impact on your pet's general wellbeing, happiness and overall quality of life
  • It can significantly shorten life expectancy compared to a healthy-weight pet.  

What your pet’s weight doesn’t tell you?

Weighing your pet will show if their weight is stable or if they have gained or lost weight.  But it isn’t very useful in telling you whether or not they are a healthy weight.  Cats and dogs come in all shapes and sizes, even if they are of the same breed.  What is a healthy weight for one Labrador for example, can actually be overweight or underweight for another Lab.

A helpful way to tell if your pet is carrying any excess weight that could be harmful to its health is to assess its Body Condition Score (BCS). Getting familiar with how to assess this goes a long way to helping become aware of what is a healthy size for your own pet.

Read more about how to assess Body Condition Score.

*PDSA  2009