體重和肥胖問題

Weight and Obesity

May 29, 2024

Bodyweight is one of the biggest issues in both human health and pet health today, and excessive bodyweight is one of the most common causes of both a shorter lifespan, and reduced quality of life.

Excessive bodyweight has a major effect on the function of many organs, especially the heart, liver and the pancreas. Excessive weight can also cause secondary metabolic problems such as diabetes.

Is my pet overweight?

The easiest way to determine if your dog or cat is an appropriate weight is to perform a body condition score. Body condition scoring is performed simply by feeling over an animals ribs and backbone. The condition score is rated from 1 (very thin, ribs are sticking out and visible, no fat) to 3 (normal healthy pet, can feel ribs but can’t see them) to 5 (very overweight, can’t feel ribs even with gentle pressure).

This body condition scoring is much more accurate than simply weighing a dog to see if they’re overweight, as there is much variation even within breeds of dog.

However, if you have determined that your dog is overweight or underweight, you should then weigh them to make a record that you can use to assess future changes in weight and see if that diet is working.

Ok, my pet is overweight - what do I do now?

If you believe your pet is overweight or underweight based on body condition scoring, the first step is to assess how much they are eating. Are they eating a healthy, high quality diet that is appropriate for their age and breed? And are they eating a correct amount of the food? There is normally a feeding guide on the back of the packet to help you judge how much they will need. Also remember to include everything your pet eats, including treats, snacks, natural food, commercial dog food, tidbits off the table. It all adds up.

As vets, most cases of overweight or underweight animals are all about calories – either eating too many, or burning off too few. In many pets, especially cats, it can be difficult to increase their exercise, so it is often easiest to focus on what they are eating.

Just like people, there are no magic pills to fix the problem, but a calorie controlled diet can really help. If you believe your pet is overweight we’d suggest one of the light foods, if they are very heavy we’d suggest requiring a prescription from your veterinarian. Another great option for dogs is adding some cooked vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, squash or cauliflower – but start off slowly, otherwise you may cause an upset stomach.

We’d also definitely suggest a check-up with a vet before starting any major diet or exercise plan. There are some hormonal causes of weight gain such as thyroid problems and Cushing’s disease, especially in dogs.

Here are a few recommended weight management dog food options:

ADVANCE - Prescription Dog Food - For Weight Loss

Size: 1.5kg

Price: $189.00

  • Helping dogs lose weight within 2 months
  • Reducing fat within 3 months
  • L-carnitine helps burn fat

OVEN-BAKED - Senior Dog And Diet Food Chicken + Fish

Size: 25Ib

Price: $719.00

  • Made Of 100% All Natural Ingredients
  • Original Recipe That Is Made Of Materials In The USA

Oven-Baked - Detailed Formula Of Chicken And Fish Food For Senior Dogs And Weight Loss Food

Size: 5Ib

Price: $209.00

  • Vitality Longevity Anti-Aging Formula: Whether it's aging or overweight dogs, it is important for them to consume low-fat levels to control their weight
  • High levels of glucosamine and chondroitin help support joint health, reduce strain on limbs, and improve overall mobility
  • Various antioxidant ingredients are specially added to promote overall health and strengthen the immune system.

Here are a few recommended weight management cat food options:

ADVANCE - Prescription Cat Food - For Weight Loss

Size: 1.5kg

Price: $260.00

  • The only pet dry food brand enriched with Active Immunoglobulins, its unique production process maintains intestinal health and defends against viral attacks from within
  • Selected premium fresh animal meat sources, rich in vitamins and minerals, highly palatable
  • No added artificial synthetic preservatives or colors, balanced nutrition, ensuring pet health


Royal Canin - Weight Control Formula Cat Food

Size: 2kg

Price: $244.00

  • New Royal Canin cat food formula specifically designed for indoor adult cats to help them naturally control their appetite and prevent overeating
  • The fiber and protein in the formula can provide a quick sense of satiety without increasing the calorie intake of the cat. This helps the cat naturally eat less while fulfilling its nutritional and energy needs, achieving a win-win situation.


Schesir - Fish Neutered And Weight Control Cat Food

Size: 10kg

Price: $810.00

  • Natural ingredients plus vitamins and minerals
  • Single fish protein, easy to digest
  • Contains prebiotic ingredients
  • High fiber and low fat, effective in weight control
  • Brewer's yeast and biotin keep coat healthy
  • Balanced Omega 3 and Omega 6
  • No added colorings and preservatives
  • Combined with special plant extracts, it assists in antioxidant activity, protects cells from free radical damage, and fights cell aging

The importance of exercise

As mentioned above, exercise is also an important component of weight loss, especially for dogs. Start off slowly, and increase the amount by about 10% per week. We do need to be careful building up, especially with very heavy dogs, and gentle slow exercise is better for fat burning when just getting started. Any play is great – running, swimming, chasing a ball. and it may also help with that human-animal bond.

What if my pet is underweight?


Overweight pets are much more common than underweight pets, but being too thin can also occur. Again, we’d suggest checking the amount they eat and correcting if necessary, but being underweight is more likely to be a sign of medical issues. These are often fairly minor, such as intestinal worms, but they can also be more serious – issues like kidney disease and hyperthyroidism can commonly cause weight loss. If you do believe your pet is underweight we’d highly recommend a check with a veterinarian. 

The above content is provided by Dr. David Gething.

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