National Pet Obesity Awareness Day | PetFirst
Pet Care & Health

National Pet Obesity Awareness Day

by PetFirst Pet Insurance
12 months ago

Do you notice that Rover is getting a little rotund?  Or your pet is eating all of his food and still wanting more? Humans are not the only ones who struggle with weight gain.  Our pets put on weight also. Although the pounds somehow look a little cuter on our fur-friends, the consequences are just as harmful as they are for humans.

Thankfully, October 9, 2019, is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day, dedicated to educating everyone about the dangers that extra weight can pose to the health of our beloved pets. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention estimates that nearly 56 percent of dogs and almost 60 percent of cats in the United States are clinically overweight or obese. 

How do I know if my pet is a healthy weight? 

The best person to talk to about your pet’s weight is your veterinarian. If you are looking at your pet, you should:

  • Be able to feel your pet’s ribs easily
  • See a waist when viewing your pet from above
  • Not see a sagging stomach when you view your pet from the side

Obesity poses many of the same health risks for dogs and cats as it does for humans.

Obese or overweight pets are more likely to suffer from:

  • Diabetes 
  • Arthritis 
  • Joint problems
  • Breathing difficulties 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Kidney disease 
  • Certain types of cancer 
  • Heart issues
  • Shorter life expectancy

Tips to help your pet slim down

If you think your pet could stand to shed a few pounds, help him lose the weight with these tips.

  • Make an appointment to see your veterinarian. Most people don’t know what a healthy cat or dog weight is.  Your veterinarian can assess your pet’s body type and weight, and help you develop a feeding and exercise plan that will be best for your pet.


  • Start measuring your pet’s food.  Measuring the food will keep it consistent.  If you use a scoop or a measuring cup, you will be able to track precisely how much food you are giving your pet and adjust accordingly.


  • Cut down on treats. Remember that treats are for our pets what dessert is for us. Better yet, switch to some healthy treats.  Try carrot sticks and apple slices in place of store-bought dog biscuits. Try puzzles and toys that get your pet moving before they dispense the treats.


  • Exercise with your pet.  Your dog or cat’s most favorite thing in the world is you.  So get moving together. Take your dog for regular, daily walks.  Play with your cat a few times each day. Physical and mental stimulation is crucial to your pet’s health.


  • Go easy on the table scraps.  Avoid feeding too many table scraps, particularly anything high in salt, sugar, or fat.  Remember, certain human foods such as onions, raisins, and grapes are toxic to dogs.

Can Pet Insurance Help?

In addition to regular walks and a healthy diet, you can make sure your pet has regular vet visits and proper medical care. 

Here at PetFirst, we know accidents and illnesses happen to all pets. PetFirst is here for every dog and cat. From common colds to more significant health problems, pet insurance can help cover unexpected vet visits.

Pet insurance provides peace of mind that if your pet gets sick or injured, you don’t have to worry about the financial aspect of his treatment.  You can just focus on your pet’s care. You can get a free quote today and help provide the best life possible for your pet.

Ready? Start your free quote


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