It’s Bikini Season! (Is My Pet Fat?)


  • Is obesity a problem in dogs and cats?

Obese labrador retrieverYES! Obesity is defined as weighing 30% or more than the ideal weight and on average 40% of dogs and cats are obese.

  • What causes obesity in my dog or cat?

There are two main causes of obesity: too much food and too little exercise.  Other factors can also play a role.  Some breeds of dogs such as Labrador Retrievers, Beagles, Dachshund and Corgis as well as indoor cats are more likely to gain weight.  The same is true of neutered dogs and cats.

  • How do I tell if my pet is obese?

A chart is included in our newsletter showing pictures of an underweight and an obese pet.  Ideally a pet should have: ribs easily felt with slight fat cover; tail base that is smooth but with bones felt under a thin layer of fat; abdomen that is tucked when looking from the side; and has a well proportioned waist present from above.

Body Condition Score for Cats and Dogs
  • What can obesity cause in my pet?

Dogs and cats differ slightly in the different diseases obesity can cause.  Some general problems include:

-Increased risk of arthritis, heart disease, skin & hair coat problems, diabetes in dogs and cats, and liver problems in cats.

-Make it hard to regulate body temperature in warm weather causing more panting and breathing difficulties in dogs

-Difficulty with activity and playing

-Limits the ways your pet can interact with you

  • Do extra pounds matter?

Absolutely!  An extra 3lbs on a 10lb cat or 15lbs on a 50lb dog makes him obese.

  • My pet hardly eats anything.  How can he be obese?

Obese catPets are much smaller than humans.  An average 10lb cat will only need about 200 calories/day to maintain it’s weight.  For some diets, that may be only 1/3 cup of dry food per day.  Treats and hunting prey must also be included in the calories eaten.

  • What can I do for my obese pet?

Of course prevention is better than treatment, but this is not always easy.  In cooperation with your veterinarian, a weight loss program including exercise and special diets that include all the proper nutrition but limit calories, will be the safest and most effective method.  Remember that the reason you are working so hard is to help your pet live a long and healthy  life.  Who knows, you may benefit at the same time.  A Body Score Chart is provided for you below.

If you have any questions on how to help your pet reach its ideal weight, and look perfect in a bikini, please call or schedule an appointment for an evaluation.

Coupon for M/D or R/D

Pet Obesity Trivia

-A 10lb cat eating 1 ounce of cheddar cheese is like a person eating 3.5 hamburgers.

-A 10lb cat drinking  1 cup of milk, is like a person eating 4.5 hamburgers or 5 chocolate bars.

-A 20lb dog eating just 1 hot dog, is like a person eating 3 entire hamburgers.



The best compliment we can receive is a referral to your friends, family and neighbors.  We greatly appreciate our clients, and want to make sure your experience is the best we can provide.  We hope you have been pleased with the care and treatment you’ve received for your pet.  If you feel there are areas where we could use improvement, please let us know.  Thank you for letting us take care of your pet family.

Dr. Alana AlpernDr. Alana Alpern has been offering acupuncture and traditional Chinese herbal medicine at Campus Veterinary Clinic since June of 2009.  We are proud and lucky to have her on our team to provide you with an integrative approach towards animal health and wellness.  For additional details, pricing information or to schedule an appointment for your pet with Dr. Alpern, please give us a call or come by the clinic at any time.