Since our pets love to eat so much, it makes sense that we want to take care of our pets as best we can by feeding them with gusto. Unfortunately, pets are notorious for wanting food all the time, even when their body doesn’t want or need it! This leads to many well-intentioned pet parents dealing with overweight pets. Not sure if you are involved in this or not? Here’s what you can look for!

Physical signs that your pet is overweight

When you’re dealing with a pet that is overweight, one of the most obvious indications is the physical changes that you see! Some of the most common ones include:

  • Their ribs are hard to feel
  • You can feel a physical layer of fat
  • They have a large stomach

These are all signs that your pet is overweight. When your pet has long fur, it can be hard to notice these changes without getting into the habit of touching and inspecting your pet regularly. In fact, this is one of the reasons why you should get “up close and personal” with your pet on a regular basis if they have long fur. It can help you to spot any underlying health issues sooner than you normally would!

If your pet has short fur, you can also look for rolls (assuming your pet doesn’t have these naturally,. such as with particular breeds).  

There is one more indicator that your pet is overweight, but it’s so obvious you probably already knew it: the vet tells you that your pet is overweight at their .recent vet appointment. Vets can tell when your pet is overweight by combining those physical signs mentioned above with the breed recommendations.  

Lifestyle signs that your pet is overweight

Besides physical signs of your pet being a bit heavier than recommended, you can also look for some lifestyle signs that they’re not in their prime. We’ve gone over some of the most common ones below:

  • Your pet is lethargic or dislikes playing or walking: While dogs and cats both show their love of playing and active time a little differently, both types of animals do naturally tend to be athletic in some capacity. If you notice that your normally active pet has lost their energy and just wants to be a couch potato, it might be a concern. If their favorite type of play or walking path doesn’t get them off the couch, then you can consider them to be lethargic due to simply feeling their extra weight.
  • Your pet seems depressed or down: When your pet is overweight, they can experience some of the emotional and mental health concerns that also exist in humans. Depression, anxiety, and generally not having any interest in anything (other than food) can be a sign that your pet is overweight. Keeping them healthy in a physical sense will also keep them happy in an emotional sense.
  • You start noticing illnesses and health concerns: When your pet’s body is not at its best, you may start to notice them getting poor check-ups each year. Common health concerns include joint issues, broken bones, skin conditions, and even more serious conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and more.  

How to conquer the weight issue with your pet

There’s never a good time to find out that your pet is overweight, but your vet will be quick to tell you that diagnosing a weight issue in your pet sooner rather than later is . best for their health and overall comfort.

The best thing that you can do is work with your vet to set up a healthy routine with your animal’s health front of mind. Vets may be often overlooked if they are only used in emergency situations or check-ups for shots. However, most vets will easily and happily give advice on how to keep your pet healthy. After all, they want what’s best for your pet and for you..

One of the most important things to do is determine what is the major cause of your pet’s weight issue. For many pet parents, it’s coming to terms with the fact that they are feeding their pet too many treats and/or an unhealthy, low-value diet that is laced with unhealthy human food as “pampering”.. There’s no question that this can be a hard issue to face, but it is essential so that you can modify your behavior for your pet’s best interest and health.  

If the issue is that your pet doesn’t get enough exercise, you’ll need to adjust your schedule to make more time for walks or playtime and more. Or, consider using a professional dog walker or someone who can dedicate time to play with your dog or cat every single day.  

Tips for a healthy life with your pet

Doing what’s best for your pet’s health doesn’t have to be a chore. It can be a fun excuse to enjoy some more bonding time with your furry family member and also add in some fun activity and learning potential for your own health, too! Tips for a healthy life with your pet include.

  • Ask your vet for advice on healthy pet food
  • Actually follow that advice for said pet food suggestions
  • Feed your pet treats sparingly
  • Consider “clicker training” rather than treat training
  • Get everyone in your household to share exercise duties with your pet
  • See exercise and playtime as bonding time with your pet
  • See this focus as an investment in your pet’s future

While some animals will be prone to being overweight due to their breed or genetics, most can maintain a healthy weight with proper care of their needs for diet and exercise!

Your pet’s health should always be a top priority. Since overweight animals are common in today’s day and age, use this information to help you understand what role you can play in weight management, and take it upon yourself to help your pet be their best, strongest, and healthiest self!

Are you trying to get a handle on your pet’s diet?

Download the free “Pet’s Food Guide” checklist right now.

Get the checklist now!