Is Your Dog or Cat Overweight? Alarming Trends in Pet Obesity
Royal Canin has announced that the proportion of obese pets is rising.
According to Royal Canin on the 18th, a study on the Body Condition Score (BCS), which classifies pet obesity into 9 stages, announced by Banfield, a U.S. veterinary hospital franchise, showed that the number of pets rated at stages 8 and 9 increased from 10% in 2007 to 19% in 2018, a 9% increase. In the same period, the number of pet cats increased from 19% to 34%, a whopping 15% increase.
In particular, some pets may be in a more severe state of obesity than BCS Stage 9, which represents a condition exceeding about 40% of the ideal weight and cannot be measured by the existing obesity index.
According to a retrospective study conducted by Royal Canin and the University of Liverpool, of the 361 pet dogs and 135 pet cats examined at obesity treatment clinics from 2004 to 2022, 46% of the treated dogs and cats were found to be obese, exceeding 40% of their ideal weight.
Pet obesity is considered one of the main health problems that can lead to various complications, such as endocrine diseases, arthritis, and cancer, lowering the quality of life for pets. Veterinary organizations such as the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA), the Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations (FECAVA), and the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) classify obesity as a disease.
Royal Canin recommends that pet owners measure their pet’s weight once every six months, feed high-protein and high-dietary fiber food, use slow feeders, and exercise regularly for 30 minutes a day.
Dr. Kwak Young Hwa, a veterinarian at Royal Canin, said, “Obesity is a disease that can cause various diseases or worsen the condition of underlying diseases, so it is very important to prevent obesity through the constant attention of the pet owner.” He added, “Especially regular check-ups can not only detect diseases early but also check the current weight status and get advice for proper weight management through consultation with a veterinarian. Therefore, I advise visiting the animal hospital regularly to prevent and treat obesity.”