Advice for overweight pets

It is completely natural to want to give your pets a treat, but if treats become a regular thing then it can lead to weight gain.

Overweight pets can have more health problems, it increases the stress on their joints and can make them more likely to develop other conditions.


Getting Nutrition Right


It is crucial to get nutrition right for your pet. They need to be eating the right amount of food for an animal of their size and age, with any health conditions taken into consideration.

Watch what your animals are eating and be careful that other members of the family aren’t sneaking them food you don’t know about!

Food can be weighed out for animals and portioned to make sure they aren’t getting too much. This can sometimes be difficult if you have more than one pet, but feeding them separately, in different spaces or at different times can help with this.

Treats need to be kept as just that, the occasional treat. No matter how much meowing you hear, or sad eyes you see, as a pet owner you need to help keep your pet’s weight on track with their health in mind. You will often find that this is just a cry for attention and fussing them is just as much what they want as any kind of food treat.

If weight is a persistent problem, there are foods for animals which are designed to help them maintain their weight. Chat to your Best Friends Vet about the options and they can recommend the right food for your pet and their health.


Best Friends Branch Weight Clinic


A lot of our Branches run a weight clinic for the animals in their care. You can bring your animal along for a regular weigh in, as well as advice on maintaining a healthy weight for them.




All pets need exercise, just like we do. And just like us the benefits can be seen in our animals, they will sleep better, have more energy and maintain a healthy weight.

Dogs should be walked for between 30 and 60 minutes per day depending on their age, size and breed. For some it will be at the lower end, others will need more.

With cats you should aim to have them moving and playing with toys for 10-15 minutes, several times a day, to get them active.

Rabbits should have around 4 hours of free-ranging exercise per day.


If you’re concerned about your pet's weight, please speak to us.


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