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The rate of overweight and obese pets has reached epidemic levels in the United States, affecting approximately 1 in 4 dogs and 1 in 3 cats.

While some may consider pets to be cuter or happier when they are overweight, the truth is, that extra weight is linked to other serious conditions such as arthritis, heart, respiratory problems and diabetes.

States with the highest prevalence of Overweight & Obesity

  1. Minnesota
  2. Nebraska
  3. Utah
  4. Colorado
  5. Iowa
  1. Minnesota
  2. Nebraska
  3. Utah
  4. Illinois
  5. Colorado
1 in 4 dogs and cats are overweight or obese.


It’s crucial that every pet owner regularly:

  1. Weigh their pet
  2. Assess their pet’s body condition

Key signs of an "overweight" body condition:

  • Pet’s ribs, spine and hip bones are barely detectable when touched
  • A defined waist cannot be seen
  • Belly fat is readily noticeable
  • Lower ability to engage in normal activity
  • Difficulty breathing, particularly when active

How to manage overweight & obesity

  • Decreasing their calories and increasing their activity
  • Regular checkups and nutritional counseling with a veterinarian
  • Diets specially formulated for weight loss

As you keep watch over your pet’s weight, regular veterinary checkups are still incredibly important because a veterinary professional can:

  • Track your pet’s body and evaluate their body condition and weight over time
  • Determine if that excess weight gain is due to, or a sign of, an underlying disease

Learn more about overweight and obesity in cats and dogs at

Approximately 2 in 3 cat owners consider their pet to be just the right weight, only 22% believe their cat is overweight.
Nearly all dog owners say they actively monitor their dog's weight, but 67% do so merely by sight, which can be misleading.