Simple, accurate health tests for the home and the workplace.

How to Help Your Pet Lose Weight in 6 Steps


overweight pet health tests

Is it time to help your pet lose weight and improve its health?

This August, we celebrate International Cat Day and Dog Appreciation Day. We are indeed a nation of pet lovers. In fact, half of all adults in the UK own a pet, which equates to roughly 10.9 million pet cats and 9.9 million pet dogs!

Our furry companions reduce our stress, keep us company and even help us live longer. The least we can do is to keep them happy and healthy.

Whether you’ve just got a new pet or you’ve had a fluffy family member for a while, it pays to monitor your pet’s health regularly to avoid illness and costly vet bills.

Killing with kindness

Pet obesity is the underlying cause for many serious illnesses in cats and dogs. In this excellent, in-depth report on pet obesity, 100% of UK vets surveyed were concerned with the problem and many cite it as the greatest health concern for pets.

Vets estimate that half of pet dogs and 44% of cats are currently overweight or obese.

From overfeeding and excessive treats to lack of exercise, weight gain can happen quickly and easily in pets – often from a little too much kindness.

Like humans, being overweight can lead to disease, which include:

  • Orthopaedic disease
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Pancreatitis
  • Cancer – mammary, transitional cell carcinoma
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Hypertension
  • Urinary tract disorders
  • Lipid disorders
  • Hepatic lipidosis
  • Dermatological disease
  • Gastrointestinal disease

All of these ailments can contribute to a shorter life for our beloved pets – and costly vet bills. An overweight pet also has an increased anaesthetic risk should surgery be required.

Help your pet to lose weight in 6 steps

It’s important that your pet maintains a healthy weight for a long and happy life.

  1. Firstly, find out how much your pet should weigh using a pet size-o-meter or body size checker. As a general rule, you should be able to feel their ribs with very light finger pressure.
  2. Weigh your pet to see how it compares to their ideal weight taking care to include treats and food scraps.
  3. Check your pet food labels for exact feeding requirements for your pet’s ideal weight, and weigh the food out exactly. You may want to change your pet’s food on your vet’s advice, as it may not be providing the nutritional requirements your pet needs.
  4. Review your pet’s daily exercise and play routine, and make sure they move regularly throughout the day.
  5. Keep a pet food and body condition diary of your pet to monitor changes over time.
  6. Speak to your vet for advice on careful weight-loss and also for a general health check-up before radically changing diet and exercise plans.

How to check your pet’s health at home

There are various tests you can carry out at home to monitor your pet’s health. They can help you to keep a closer eye on your pet’s health in-between vet visits (and to keep costs down). These include:

For further information on cat and dog health, there is a wealth of guidance in our pet health web pages: Animal Health