Obesity in Animals

Obesity in animal’s manifests as an accumulation of extra adipose tissue and is typically understood to arise when an animal's body weight is at least 20% higher than its ideal body weight. Changes in metabolism and hormones are linked to obesity.

Using a 9-point body condition score (BCS) method, it is possible to determine whether dogs and cats are overweight or not. Scores 1-3 denote "too thin," 4, 5, 6, "above ideal," 7, "overweight," and 8 and 9 denote "obesity." In practise, these BCS techniques are the ones that are most frequently commonly to diagnose obesity. Body Condition Score is rapid, non-invasive, and doesn't require any specialised equipment; all you need are the scoring charts and a clinician, even if it's not as accurate as using DEXA scans to determine the true body fat percentage.


When an animal has a positive energy balance—that is, when the number of calories it consumes exceeds the number of calories it consumes—weight increase will result. According to the available data, middle-aged cats and dogs, particularly those between the ages of 5 and 10, may be more likely to be obese. Pet obesity is typically brought on by an excessive food intake or a lack of activity. The shift in sex hormones that occurs after neutering slows basal metabolic rate, and neutered animals also tend to be less roaming than non-neutered cats, which raises the risk of obesity in cats.


Weight loss and weight maintenance are the first two steps in weight management. Energy intake from food must be lower than energy expended daily during the weight loss phase. It can be difficult to get cats and dogs to reduce weight, and failure to do so is frequent.


Obese dogs and cats are more likely to develop diabetes mellitus and osteoarthritis (joint disease), which also appear earlier in life than in non-obese animals. Animals who are obese are more likely to experience difficulties after surgery or anaesthesia.

Obese dogs are more likely to develop urinary incontinence, obese dogs are more compared to suffer urinary incontinence, may have lung problems, and generally have a reduced quality of life. Obese cats are more susceptible to illnesses of the mouth and urinary system. Obese cats who struggle to groom themselves are more likely to develop dry, flaky skin and feline acne.

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