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Obesity in cats and dogs

Health
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Written by Karin Lundgren

Licensed Veterinary Nurse

I have been working for the last 10 years doing what I love - making sure our pets, especially cats and dogs, are healthy and happy. After graduating from SLU, in 2013, I have worked in both larger animal hospitals and smaller clinics, with anaesthesia, dentistry and nutrition.

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Overweight and obesity are incredibly common among our pets - it is estimated that approximately 30% of dogs and 50% of cats are overweight. The most important thing you can do to prevent many of the most common diseases in dogs and cats, such as joint problems, urinary tract diseases and diabetes, is to keep your pet at a proper weight. Not to mention it also makes for a more energetic and happy four-legged friend, and maybe even a longer life!

To keep your pet in healthy body condition is one of the most important thing you can do as a pet owner to keep your pet healthy. Exercise and movement come with many positive health effects on the body. It has even been confirmed in a study that dogs in good shape live an average of over two years longer than overweight dogs!

In this article:

  • How do I assess my pet's body condition?

  • How much food should I give?

  • What should I keep in mind if my dog or cat is neutered?

  • How do I make my pet lose weight?

  • How do I assess my pet's body condition?

Step one is to be able to assess whether the dog or cat is overweight or not. A widely accepted scale used is the Body Condition Score, where the animal is graded on a scale between 1-9. Below you will find the scales and guidance for an assessment for both dogs and cats, and also the suggested action depending on where your pet ends up.

Body Condition Score for cats

Body Condition Score for dogs

How much food should I give?

Do you find it difficult to know how much food is adequate per day? On the links below you can find our feeding recommendations. Keep in mind that the recommendations are a guide, and that you should always start from the dog or cat's body condition. If your pet is gaining weight on the current daily feeding, or is already a bit overweight, you may need to adjust the dosage down.

If you have changed from another feed, it is not certain that it corresponds to the same amount in dl, so check the table and weigh the first few times!

Feeding guide adult cat

Feeding guide adult dog

Feeding guide puppy

Feeding guide kitten

What should I keep in mind if my dog ​​or cat is neutered?

After castration, both in the case of dogs and cats, metabolism and thus energy consumption decreases. How much the energy requirement is reduced is individual, but in most animals you can count on a reduction of between 10-30%. Despite this, the appetite may be the same.

What you therefore need to think about is reducing the pet's energy intake and keeping a close eye on the weight. I have written two articles below with tips for feeding and activation, for those of you who have a neutered dog or cat.

Tips and advice for feeding of neutered dog

Tips and advice for feeding of neutered cat

How do I make my pet lose weight?

My pet weighs a few kilos too much, what should I do now? First, think about what your pet eats in a day - everything counts. What is not much for us, like a slice of cheese, becomes a lot for a dog or cat. Maybe that's where you should start?

In the articles below, we provide lots of useful tips on how to help your pet reach a suitable weight, and ways to get active together. There is a lot you can adjust regarding both feeding, activation and routines for both cat and dog - as a bonus, it can make everyday life more enjoyable and strengthen the relationship between you!

Tips and advice on your dog's weight, food and activity

Tips and advice on your cat's weight, food and activity

Good luck, and just reach out to us if you need any assistance on feeding recommendations with petgood!