How much should I feed my dog? What is a normal weight for my cat? At Quinebaug Valley Veterinary Hospital in Danielson, Connecticut, our veterinarians get questions about pet weight and fitness daily. Our veterinary team wants to help you to get your pet healthy this year and beyond!
Let’s start with some important things to know about pet obesity. 25-30% of dogs in North America are obese. Obese pets can be at a higher risk for diabetes, heart issues, cancer and other conditions. Not only that, but fat tissues release certain hormones that can cause inflammation. That inflammation can cause pain for your pet. You can get more details about the connection between pet obesity and pain here.
Moral of the story: Being overweight can destroy your pet’s quality of life. We all love our furry best friends like they’re our children, so keeping them at a healthy weight needs to be a priority!
Some Facts about Feeding Pets
Knowing how much to feed your pet can be hard, especially with toy breed dogs. Just like with humans, pets caloric needs differ. Here’s some pointers:
10lb Dog — 200-275 calories/day
20lb Dog — 325-400 calories/day
50lb Dog — 700-900 calories/day
(These guidelines are from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention and are based on the needs of an average indoor pet.)
What Else Can You Do to Help Your Pet?
Just like with humans, portion control and exercise are the main keys to keeping your pet at a healthy weight. During your cat or dog’s annual exam at Quinebaug Valley Veterinary Hospital, we get their weight and evaluate other aspects of their appearance. All of this goes into giving your pet a “body score.” Bringing your pet to their annual exam is an important way to monitor their weight, especially if you are not familiar with what a healthy weight is for your cat or dog.
We know that helping your pet get to a healthy weight is work. They just give you those sad eyes when you’re eating something, and you can’t help but give in! Little snacks can add up though, and it’s important to find out about what portions should look like for your pet. Not only that, but establishing an exercise plan can be key. Sound like a lot to do? Our veterinary team is here to support you both online and in hospital.