lighten the load for heavy pets

Ever try to carry a mountain bike? It’s a heavy load, right – nearly 30 pounds of extra weight. Now picture a Cocker Spaniel that’s just a bit overweight, let’s say five pounds. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but for them, it’s like carrying around a mountain bike all day, every day. Yikes!

Don’t worry, this isn’t a math test. But we are talking about numbers – and the number of overweight and obese pets has been increasing for many years. Check it out: In 2011, 16% of the dogs Banfield saw were diagnosed as overweight or obese. By 2021, the percentage climbed to 34%. That’s a 108% increase. For cats, the bump was even bigger: 114% more cats were diagnosed as overweight or obese in 2020, compared to 2011.

Does being overweight put pets at risk?

Yes, it does. Take a look at the graphic below, based on new data and analysis from Banfield. Some statistics really jump out at you about the risk for dogs and cats. Sure, we know that talking about weight gain or loss can be a touchy subject. But being overweight or obese can put our four-legged friends at risk, and they need our help.

If your BFF or purry pal might be overweight or obese, here’s what we recommend: Schedule an appointment with your Banfield vet team, put a weight loss plan together, and get started. You can do it, and your pet will love you for it.

More good news: Banfield also offers virtual and in-office nutrition advice sessions with veterinary technicians to make it easier than ever to partner with pet owners on pet nutritional needs, diet ingredients, and a healthier weight. Give us a call to find out more.

You’re not alone: Real pets, real stories

Lots of pets, pet owners, and vet teams are working together to help pets lose weight, including Holly, Harley, and Louie.

Holly’s making strides

Holly the dog

Holly is a 3-year-old Australian Shepard living in Chicago with her owner Julia. About a month into the pandemic, Julia noticed Holly was looking heavier and acting “lazier” than normal. Holly’s veterinarian confirmed she was overweight. After the vet visit, Julia started feeding Holly less, exercising her more every day, and even bought her a life jacket to teach her to swim. Now that Holly has lost the weight, Julia remains committed to providing her with a healthy lifestyle, and claims that Holly is more energetic and loving without the extra pounds.

Harley’s getting healthy

Harley the dog

Harley is a 4-year-old Shar Pei/Rottweiler mix living in New Jersey. Before the pandemic, she had playdates every day with her two besties, Tesla and Sammy. They loved to swim, hike, and play fetch for hours at the dog park. Harley was always at a healthy weight – until she got too many treats and not enough exercise during quarantine. Her veterinarian diagnosed her as obese in early 2021. Since then, Harley’s owners have been committed to getting her back to a healthy weight. Go girl!

Louie’s got work to do

Louie the dog

Melissa noticed her 4-year-old Cavapoo, Louie, was gaining weight when the neon vest the dog wears for nighttime walks became a little snug. “Before the quarantine, it was loose on him,” she said. “But with everyone at home, baking banana bread and feeding him table scraps, we could barely strap it on.” Louie weighs 52 pounds, up 10 pounds over the past year and almost double his ideal weight. Time to see the vet.

How’s your BFF doing? Do you have questions or concerns about their weight, mobility, or overall health? We can help – Schedule an appointment with your local Banfield Veterinary team.

Obesity infographic
Obesity infographic
Obesity infographic
Obesity infographic
Obesity infographic
Obesity infographic
Pet obesity graphic
Obesity infographic

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