Shed the “COVID 15” weight gain: 5 Tips to keep your dog or cat in shape


Wednesday (Oct. 14) is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day and, as more people are home with their pets during the pandemic, there are more opportunities for them to “treat” their furry friends. But beware, table scraps and extra treats can add up quickly—just a 5 oz serving of dark meat turkey for your small dog can be the caloric equivalent of an entire 8-inch pumpkin pie for you!

Research has shown that 1 out of 3 dogs and cats are overweight. In addition, Trupanion data reveals that pet owners with overweight pets spend as much as five times more in veterinary expenses than pet owners with average-sized pets.

So Trupanion, a leader in medical insurance for cats and dogs, looked into its database of over 530,000 pets to uncover the common conditions (along with the condition’s avg. cost per year) that dogs and cats may experience from being overweight. 

Common conditions of overweight dogs with average cost per year

  • Cruciate Rupture: $3,800
  • Diabetes: $2,000
  • Lameness & Limping: $400
  • Arthritis: $300

Common conditions of overweight cats with average cost per year

  • Congestive Heart Failure: $1,200
  • Diabetes: $1,300
  • Lameness & Limping: $300
  • Arthritis: $3005

Tips to keep your dog or cat in shape

1. Have your pet assessed by a veterinarian to determine what their ideal weight should be and have them make diet recommendations.

2. Be mindful of the number of treats a pet receives throughout the day. They can easily add up and lead to excessive calorie intake.

3. Make sure your pets get regular exercise and playtime.

4. Designate one person in the house to be in charge of feeding to make sure that the pets are fed the same amount consistently, and that they aren’t accidentally getting extra meals.

5. Don’t give in when they look at you with sad eyes or when they beg.