Is Your Pet At Risk Of Obesity?

Is Your Pet At Risk Of Obesity?

Pet obesity is one of the most relevant, growing concerns in the 21st century, especially for individuals that require the aid of an emotional support animal in their day to day lives.

Obesity is a gateway to many chronic diseases including heart failure and diabetes in pets. Keeping an eye out for any signs of obesity in your emotional support animal may prevent many of the on-sets related to obesity and even prolong your pet’s life.

With a fast-paced lifestyle and commitments, pet owners often do not provide enough play time to their pets, or your pet is simply becoming lazy. The first step is to ensure your pet is not suffering from any medical condition, which is causing it to gain weight, for example, conditions such as hypothyroidism. This is disease that can lead to excessive weight and severe lethargy in pets. Once you have determined that the weight gain is not the result of a medical condition you can start working on your pet’s activity levels.

How do you determine if your pet is at risk of obesity?

Here are a few pointers that you need to look out for in your pet to check if they are leaning towards obesity.

  • Can you feel your pet’s ribs?

This is one of the easiest ways to determine whether your pet is getting overweight. This can be tested by touching your pet’s chest and moving towards the ribs, if you are feeling the ribs, but not the space between them and have to apply pressure to feel it, then your pet certainly is overweight. This is known as the rib-cage test, which is the easiest way to determine whether your pet has gained extra pounds.


  • Low stamina and difficulty breathing

dog laying down in wooden floorThese are serious warning signs, loss of activity and heavy breathing is a sure signal of obesity. As long as the fuzzball is not ill, you need to work on its weight loss immediately.  Pets like to play with their owners and love the attention, but if your once active pet is now tired only after a little while and is panting for breath, it is severely overweight. This can lead to long-term obesity, which is a cause of congestive heart failure in pets.

  • Bloating

Yes, your pet can be bloated and this is related to a digestion disorder. This happens when your dog or cat is unable to digest the food it eats or if it gobbles everything down quickly without chewing his any food. Try regulating their diets to determine what is causing this, long-term bloating leads to actual weight gain, which may be the result of your puppy eating many calories and burning even less.

  • Uncomfortable resting/ sitting positions

If your pet is carrying more weight than its legs are designed for, it may be trying to lie down in new uncomfortable positions as it has movement issues. This can be an indicator of problems such as arthritis and hip dysplasia, which are a result of excessive weight gain in pets. This is also very dangerous for the blood circulation in the pet’s body and can be the cause of congestive heart disorders and failure.

  • Summer heat

Pets that are gaining some extra pounds are likely to suffer from the effects of summer heat much more than others. The fat in their bodies is performing an insulation mechanism, which is trapping more heat inside them and they are probably staying more in the pool than your children.


If you are observing any of these signs in your pet, immediately visit the vet and get a body mass index for him. Try to get a routine for it and pay attention to its calorie intake.