Life Lines by Dr. Dolittle

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Is your pet overweight?


Image of an obese cat by Jami430 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A new study conducted by the Banfield Pet Hospital (Vancouver, Washington) reports that as many as 1 in 3 dogs and cats living in the United States are overweight. The study was based on data collected by Banfield veterinary clinics on 2.5 million dogs and half a million cats over the past year.

Obesity in pets was not related to the weight status of their owners. In fact, overweight pets were less prevalent in states whose populations of humans were more overweight. They also found increased intestinal parasites in pets living in states with the most overweight humans, which may be why pets living in those areas weigh less. Although it is not clear why pets in those areas were more likely to have parasites.

According to PetMD, obesity increases mortality risk in pets and contributes to a host of complications including fatigue, difficulty breathing, intolerance to heat, high blood pressure, arthritis, diabetes, liver disease, decreased resistance to disease, and an increased risk for developing cancer.


Banfield Hospital


Categories: Diet and Exercise, Feline, Pets

Tags: , , , , ,

3 replies

  1. This article was especially relevant to me as I have an overweight dog who just started limping and the vet has put her on arthritis medicine. Since dogs and cats already have short lives compared to humans, it is really unfortunate for overweight dogs who have that life span cut in half. I found this other article,, which discusses different aspects of the same topics. The scary part of this whole situation is most pet owners do not even realize their pets are overweight and therefore do not make lifestyle changes. This source also explains what a healthy dog should look like, and sadly my dog does not fit those characteristics which include a definable waist and not too much stomach “padding.” Hopefully, I, along with many other pet owners, can work to fix this issue for our furry friends.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s scary that such a high proportion of cats and dogs are overweight. My cat was overweight too and the problem is most owners don’t realise. I found this page which shows the Body Fat Index so you can see if your animal IS in fact overweight and easily determine where the dog or cat sits on the chart. I hope this helps other users.


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