The Issue of Obesity of Home Pets

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Table of contents

  1. Abstract
  2. Obesity of Home Pets
  3. Works Cited


Pets that are obese is a growing concern and suffer from various diseases just like the humans (Whistle Lab Inc., 2019). Numerous of people who own pets have difficulty determining if their pet is fat and are at a loss on what action to take in remedying the issue (Sciences, 2019). Pets become obese for various of reasons and the majority of humans have knowledge that remaining overweight is hazardous for humans and animals (Pet Obesity Prevention, 2015). When pets become obese or overweight are prone to long-term health issues. Most of these diseases can be reversed if discovered at right time (Pet MD, 2019). We found that the number one cause of pet obesity is constantly giving pets treats, which leads to overeating throughout the day. After conducting extensive research online, we discovered that there is an organization that specializes in aiding owners with their obese pets. This organization is called the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) and their mission is to prevent pets from becoming obese, reverse the obesity in pets, and train owners how to properly care for their pets.

Obesity of Home Pets

Numerous people enjoy or even love pets and have them within their homes for several reasons. Companionship such as in the case of the elderly or single adults, or for company that can keep children occupied or teach them responsibility. Pets are live animals that people can talk to, hold, and provide comfort for their owners. One concern for pets today is that they are quickly becoming overweight. Just as the adult human has become less active and heavier than earlier generations, so has the home pet. Pets today are either obese or on the verge of developing obesity.

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Obesity in pets is a growing issue and can cause many animals to suffer from diseases just like their human colleagues. “Inactivity and weight gain are a vicious cycle - decreased movement results in lower calorie burn and resting metabolic rate, which can lead to weight gain” (Whistle Lab Inc., 2019). Chronic pain caused by overweight and can be corrected with proper weight loss. Dogs that are overweight are at risk from joint disease, respiratory disease and several other preventable conditions. Overweight cats are at risk for diabetes and various types of liver diseases. Not only are these conditions concerning for pets, but they are also financially devastating to the owners.

Many owners have difficulty determining if their pet is overweight because they come in many shapes and sizes. Knowing if your pet is overweight is only half of the challenge and coming up with the actual weight in pounds the animals should be at is not always practical. There is a system put into place for a solution to this issue and it is the Body Condition Score System. This system focuses on the amount of skin and tissue that can be felt over the ribs, as well as the shape of the waist and underbelly. A dog or cat that has an ideal body condition will have a visible waist behind the ribs when viewed from above. If there is small amount of fat, then the ribs can be felt. The underbelly will be tucked when viewed from the side. For further guidance you should consult with your local veterinarian clinic to determine the correct body composition for the pet (Sciences, 2019, pp. par. 1-3).

Pets become obese from numerous of causes and there are 5 for sure you can see coming that will help prevent obese pets. “Deep down most folks know obesity is dangerous; they just don’t think anything bad will occur to them or their pet” (Pet Obesity Prevention, 2015).

The first on the list is choosing the wrong breed for a four-legged friend. Every pet can become obese but there are certain breeds of animals that are prone to developing a heavy body. The breeds that are prone to being overweight enjoy eating way too much. Be cognizant when choosing the next companion for the household and do research upon that pet for any health ailments it is prone to. The second cause is the inaccurate food labels placed upon pet food products. Do not rely on the portions recommended on the food products because doing so will result in pudgy animals for sure. Manufacturers put more than the recommended amounts for feeding so that consumers have buy the product more often. Ask local veterinarian for the recommended feeding amounts and you must adjust the amounts according to your pet’s appearance. Every animal is different and just because they may be the same species does not mean they eat the same amounts. Thirdly, treats can be too big and lead to obesity. Pay attention to the sizes of the treats that are given to your pets. The pet’s size should be judged when introducing treats. Treats can be a great reward for pets but only in moderation. Another reason that leads to obese pets is due to bad advice. Most people are not accustomed to seeing truly fit pets and when they see an animal that shows any ribcage, so they believe the animal is too thin and must feed it more often. Out of concern for someone else’s pet, they may voice their opinion and give bad advice. The puppy face can become overbearing and will lead to pets becoming obese. In general, people who stay at home and are not active tend to over feed their pets. Being around the pets 24/7 leads to many people applying the “one for me, one for you rule” (Kay, 2015). All these things are preventable and if you need assistance then do not be afraid to consult someone for help.

Pets becoming fat can lead to many horrible long-term effects and must be prevented. You may be literally killing your pets with kindness with the over feeding with treats. This leads to overweight that causes lasting damage to your pets’ internal organs, bones, and joints. Some illnesses can become too severe and cannot be remedied with normal weight loss. According to the recent findings of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), more than 58% of cats and 45% of cats can be branded as being obese or plump. Some conditions that take place from being overweight are decreased stamina, breathing difficulty, heat intolerance, hypertension, diabetes, liver disease, osteoarthritis, increased surgical risk, lowered immune system function, and increased risk of forming cancer (Pet MD, 2019, pp. par. 1, 5-6).

The APOP was an association that was founded in 2005 by Dr. Ernie Ward. His mission goal was on the development and promoting of parallel weight loss programs to help pet owners safely and effectively lose weight alongside their pets. The association has launched many campaigns to fight pet obesity within the veterinary medical community, state and local veterinary organizations, and veterinary universities. The first predominant pet obesity surveys the association conducted was in 2007 (Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 2019). The main question people ask APOP is “how do you know if your pet is overweight or obese?” and the association as an answer. First, you should be able to number and feel your pet’s ribs when you gracefully run your fingers along the animal’s side. Next, when surveying your pet from above, you should be able to gaze upon an hourglass shape or curvature near the midsection. Finally, when you look at your pet from the side, you should see a minor fold or skyward slope of the stomach. If your pet does not meet the criteria, then it is most likely overweight or obese. The association has tools to assist you either to prevent obesity or to manage it and they insist that you ask certain questions when visiting your local veterinary clinic. The first question should be “Is my pet overweight?” and the next question should be “How many calories should I feed my pet each day?” A third question that should be brought up is “How much weight should my pet lose each month?” The final two questions you should ask are “What kinds of exercise should my pet do?” and “Is my pet at risk for a medical problem due to excess weight?” The association is a great instrument to use to guide in the right direction for any concerns you have for your furry family member and to remedy obesity.

Finally, you have been informed that obesity in home pets is an alarming problem that is growing rapidly today, and this issue needs to be addressed so that more animals can return to their proper health. “Don’t chase a number on a scale; focus on improving quality of life and decreasing disease risk” (Pet MD, 2019). Educating owners of this problem will help prevent many disturbing health problems in pets that were discussed as well as the many fatalities among them today. “Adult dogs that get over 60 minutes of avg. daily activity are less than half as likely to be overweight or obese” (Whistle Lab Inc., 2019). Exercising and feeding pets properly will not only prevent them from being obese but it will also aid the owners from being obese.

Works Cited

  1. Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. (2019). Our Mission. Retrieved November 8, 2019, from
  2. Kay, N. (2015, October 5). 5 Causes of Pet Obesity You Can See Coming. Retrieved November 8, 2019, from
  3. Pet MD. (2019). Long-Term Effects of Obesity on Pets. Retrieved November 8, 2019, from
  4. Pet Obesity Prevention. (2015, November 19). The Secret Life of Pet and Human Obesity. Retrieved from
  5. Sciences, C. o. (2019). Pet Obesity is a Growing Problem. Retrieved November 08, 2019, from
  6. Whistle Lab Inc. (2019). Obesity Rate and Activity Levels. Retrieved November 28, 2109, from
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The Issue of Obesity of Home Pets. (2022, Jun 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 23, 2024, from
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