Small dog breeds


Did you know that maintaining a healthy weight is important for your furry friend’s well-being? Just like humans, pets can also suffer from obesity, which can lead to serious health issues like heart disease, diabetes, and joint problems. And not only that, but overweight pets are also more prone to injuries like joint pain and hip dysplasia.

So, to keep your pet healthy and happy weight, it is crucial to provide them with a proper exercise routine and a balanced diet. In this blog, we’ll learn the important things to remember in keeping our pets in tip-top shape.

Recognizing Signs of Unhealthy Weight

As pet owners, it's important to recognize signs of unhealthy weight in pets. Pet obesity is a major problem in both cats and dogs. This disease can lead to several health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis in pets. Some signs that your pet may be overweight or obese include loss of waist definition, a bulging belly, difficulty in breathing, excessive panting, increased thirst, reduced activity level, and the skin folds don’t "spring back" when pinched.

If you're concerned that your pet may be overweight, it is important to talk to your veterinarian as soon as possible. They can help you develop a weight loss plan that's safe and effective for your furry companion.


Is Your Pet Underweight or Overweight?

When it comes to your pet's weight, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The ideal weight for a dog or cat will vary depending on the breed, age, and activity level. However, some general guidelines can help you determine if your pet is overweight or underweight.

For Dogs:

Severely underweight
Ideal weight
Severely overweight
Bones can be seen and felt under the skin.
Ribs can be easily felt and may be visible under the skin.
Ribs can be easily felt without excess fat.
Ribs can be difficult to feel or see.
There are massive fat deposits from the neck to the abdomen, the spine, and the base of the tail.
There is loss of muscle mass.
From above, the waist behind the ribs is obvious.
The waist can be seen behind the ribs from above.
There are noticeable fat deposits.
There is no defined waist or tuck.
There is a noticeable decrease in body fat.
The abdomen is significantly tucked up when viewed from the side.
From the side, the abdomen is tucked up.
The waist is barely visible.
The abdomen is distended and hanging.


For Cats


(10% under their ideal weight)

Ideal weight

(10% over their ideal weight)

You can see and feel the ribs and spine easily.

The waist and belly are tucked in slightly behind their ribs.

There is no obvious waist and the belly may bulge out from behind the ribs.

The belly is rounded and may even sag down.

The waist and belly are obviously tucked in behind their ribs.

Ribs can be felt with minimal fat cover.

Difficult to feel the ribs under the fur because of the fat.

There is no layer of fat over their ribs and spine.

The backbone can be felt under a thin covering of fat.

The backbone may be covered with large fatty deposits and cannot be felt or seen

Tips for determining if your pet is overweight or underweight

  1. Observe your pet from above. A slight waistline should be visible.
  2. Run your hands along your pet's ribs. Your pet's ribs should be palpable, but not prominent.
  3. Lift your pet's tail. A slight tuck in the abdomen should be visible.

In addition, there are some specific factors to consider when determining the ideal weight for certain breeds. For example, brachycephalic breeds like bulldogs and pugs are more prone to obesity due to their shortened muzzles, which makes it difficult for them to breathe properly and exercise. As a result, it is essential to carefully monitor the weight of these breeds and ensure that they do not become overweight.

Another thing to think about is your pet’s age. Puppies and kittens should be allowed to grow and develop at their own rate, and it is not a good idea to try to force them to lose weight. On the other hand, adult pets who are overweight or obese should be put on a weight loss program.

Fat orange cat

Benefits of Keeping Pets at a Healthy Weight

There are many advantages to keeping pets at a healthy weight. It includes a reduced risk of obesity-related diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. Additionally, there is an increase in mobility and energy levels, which can lead to a visible improvement in their quality of life and a longer lifespan.

How to Help Pets Achieve and Maintain a Healthy Weight

If you're concerned about your pet's weight, there are a few things you can do to help them achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

1. Monitor your pet's weight.

The best way to know if your pet is at a healthy weight is to monitor their weight regularly. You can do this by weighing your pet at home on a scale, or by taking them to the veterinarian for a weigh-in. If your pet is gaining weight, you may need to adjust their diet or exercise routine.

2. Allow your pet to exercise regularly.

Why is exercise important for pets? Just like people, pets need to get regular exercise to stay healthy. Engage them in regular physical activity to burn calories, strengthen their muscles, and keep their joints healthy. Strive for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise for pets each day. This could include activities like walking, running, playing fetch, or swimming.

Man playing with his dog

3. Feed your pet a healthy diet.

The best way to help your pet lose weight or maintain a healthy weight is to feed them a healthy diet. This means a diet that is low in fat and calories, and high in fiber. Many commercial pet foods are specifically designed for weight loss, or you can make healthy food for pets at home.

4. Talk to your veterinarian.

If you are concerned about your pet's weight or are having trouble helping them lose weight, consult with your veterinarian. They can help you create a plan to help your pet achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

5. Be patient.

Losing weight requires time and patience, and maintaining a healthy weight can take even longer. It’s important to not lose hope if your pet doesn’t lose weight right away. Keep up the effort and determination, and eventually, you'll reach your goal.

Pet Express’ Recommended Products for Pet Weight Management

Brit Care Senior Grain Free Weight Control Dry Cat Food

Brit Care Senior Grain Free Weight Control Dry Cat Food

The Brit Care Senior Weight Control Dry Cat Food is a specially formulated diet for senior cats who are watching their weight. Its hypoallergenic grain-free formula meets the unique nutritional needs of older cats and sterilized senior cats while helping to manage their weight.

This recipe contains protein from high-quality meat, taurine for good vision and heart health, fiber for healthy digestion, probiotics and prebiotics, and more—an optimal balance of healthy ingredients ensures the overall health of your feline.

Go! Solutions Weight Management and Joint Care Grain Free Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food

Go! Solutions Weight Management and Joint Care Grain Free Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food

The Go! Solutions Weight Management and Joint Care Dry Dog Food is a specially formulated food that helps dogs maintain a healthy weight while supporting joint health. This grain-free recipe contains protein and functional ingredients such as L-carnitine to help burn fat, and glucosamine and chondroitin to help maintain healthy, mobile joints.

Moochie Adult Weight Control Salmon Wet Cat Food

Moochie Adult Weight Control Salmon Wet Cat Food

The Moochie Adult Weight Control Salmon Wet Cat Food is a specially formulated diet for adult cats that is designed to help them maintain a healthy weight without sacrificing taste or essential nutrients. It features a complete and balanced grain-free recipe that includes prebiotics, salmon, L-carnitine, taurine, and chicken.

The Takeaway

A healthy weight is essential for your pet's well-being. There are ways you can maintain your pet’s weight to a healthy level like regular exercise and a balanced diet, which is where Pet Express can help. You can also rely on us for the best dry cat food and the best dry dog food for your pet’s journey to a healthy weight.

Visit the nearest Pet Express store or browse our collection of pet health and wellness products online to find exactly what your furry companion needs for a healthier life. Explore more tips and guides on taking care of your beloved pets here.