The risks of dog obesity and what you can do to prevent it


The risks of dog obesity and what you can do to prevent it

North America’s most common preventable disease among dogs is obesity. VCA estimates between 25 to 30% of the general North American dog population is obese, with 40 to 45% of dogs between ages 5 and 11 having higher than normal body weight.

Banfield Pet Hospital — the largest veterinary system in the United States — also claims the number of overweight or obese dogs has more than doubled between 2011 and 2020, showing a prevalent dog obesity issue that predates “pandemic pounds” from quarantine. However, one out of ten respondents to this study did not think pets have become more overweight or obese.

Findings like these suggest some pet owners may lack knowledge about the risks of dog obesity, and their own responsibility to make healthy choices for their furry friends. Here are just some of the health risks associated with dog obesity:

  • Breathing problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Skin problems
  • Bone and joint issues
  • Weakened immune system
  • Higher risk of cancer
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What can I do to help my dog maintain the right body weight?

As a general rule, dogs are considered obese when they weigh 20% or more above their ideal body weight. Your dogs’ risk of obesity increases significantly from overfeeding, but age and breed are also risk factors — and the health issues that can arise as a result.

To understand what you can do to help keep your dog at a healthy weight, here is what Banfield’s research says are some of the most common hurdles pet parents say they face when trying to keep their companion’s fit:

  • Giving in when their pet begs for food or treats
  • Not knowing the best strategies for pet weight loss
  • Trouble exercising their pet due to health or mobility issues
  • Not paying enough attention to their pet’s diet
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If you yourself struggle with one or more of these same hurdles, here’s what you can do:

  • Give them their exercise: make sure your dog gets their daily walks and other physical activity sessions as needed.
  • Control food portions: consult with your vet to determine if your pet is an ideal weight, or if you need to consider cutting down on their portion sizes..
  • Keep ongoing track of your dog’s body weight: body score charts, like this one from NOW FRESH, are informative and easy to consult.
  • Choose a balanced diet for your companion: Consider a recipe with moderate protein and fat, NOW FRESH Senior Recipe for Dogs features functional ingredients that help keep your pooches healthy & fit in their advancing years.

With these tips, you should have no trouble helping your dog stick to their optimum weight! For even more information on dog nutrition, visit

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Submitted by the NOW FRESH Nutrition Team

Since 2007, NOW FRESH has provided pet parents the ultimate peace of mind knowing they’re feeding their cherished companions perfectly balanced recipes tailored to their specific size and age, to help them live long, healthy, and happy lives. NOW FRESH is part of the Petcurean family of premium-quality pet food products. For more information, visit