Why Being Overweight Matters


1 in 3 pets is overweight or obese*.  With so many pets being overweight it can be difficult as owners to notice that our pets are getting heavier, with being overweight gradually becoming the new norm.  

Being as little as 20% overweight can greatly increase the risk of your pet developing serious health conditions such as diabetes mellitus, urinary stones or heart disease.  Being overweight also puts extra pressure on the joints and can lead to arthritis or worsen the symptoms of existing conditions.

Excess weight not only has a negative impact on your pet's general wellbeing, happiness and overall quality of life, but it can also significantly shorten its life expectancy compared to a healthy-weight pet.  

Weighing your dog will show if their weight is stable or if they have gained or lost weight.  But it isn’t very useful in telling you whether or not your dog is a healthy weight.  Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, even if they are of the same breed.  What is a healthy weight for one Labrador can actually be overweight or underweight for another lab.

A helpful way to tell if your pet is carrying any excess weight that could be harmful to health is to assess its Body Condition Score (BCS)

Getting familiar with how to assess your pet’s Body Condition Score goes a long way to helping become aware of what is a healthy size for your pet.


*PDSA  2009