dog and puppy

Did you know obesity during puppyhood could lead to continued weight problems for adult dogs? Pudgy puppies can make some of the cutest and cuddliest companions, but our friends at know when portly can become a problem.

They also have some tips on how to reduce the diet of pudgy playmates, and our friends at the ASPCA® offer a quick overview of not only what causes obesity, but how you and your pet can work together to counteract it.

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pet parents

fat cat in a red bow tie

Pudgy can be cute, but for felines, having a little more to love can bring the potential for certain health risks due to obesity.

There are a number of causes for feline obesity, and many times a simple shift in feeding routine or an increase in exercise can help solve the problem. If you have a chubby kitty, check out this quick overview from our friends at the ASPCA®. It reviews the causes of feline obesity and how you and your cat can work together to slim down. 

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pet parents

Pet Health Tip - Is your pet overweight?

It's the holiday season and that mean all sorts of goodies to eat! While you may be focused on your weight, don't forget about your pet. Your veterinarian is the best judge of your pet’s weight, but you should be able to feel the backbone and ribs without pressing. Your pet should also have a distinct “waist” between the back of the rib cage and hips viewed from the top. If you have any concerns, talk to your veterinarian.

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Pet Health Insurance Headlines

Over the past few years, pet food manufacturers have been increasing the amount of sugar they add to pet treats to make them more appetizing, according to Dr. Ernie Ward, founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. According to this recent article from Businessweek, veterinary experts believe these sugary treats are one of the main causes for today’s pet obesity epidemic. 

As with human desserts, sugar improves the look and taste of pet treats. However, pet food companies generally do not have to list the amount of sugar they use in treats.

Del Monte Foods, one of the major pet food manufacturers, told Businessweek that when pet parents give their dogs and cats treats in moderation, treats simply enhance the bond between pet and pet parent, and do not contribute to weight gain.

Veterinarians encourage pet parents to avoid buying pet treats that list sugar as one of the first three ingredients on the packaging, and to remember that treats should only make up 10 percent of a pet’s daily calorie intake.

Probably like many pet parents, I give my cat Millie a few too many salmon-flavored treats when she does something cute. Instead, I’m going to reward her with a fresh catnip toy or a long play session with the laser pointer—both of which are calorie-burning activities!

Aside from treats, how do you reward your pet?

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Pet Health Insurance Headlines


As we’re dedicated to making a difference for pets, we want to keep you informed about pet health topics and your ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan. Our blog will provide you with fresh, interesting and informative topics—from pet health tips and customer stories, to the latest industry news and a Pet Parent Q&A column. Most of all, we encourage you to share comments and join the discussion!

Meet the Author

Julia H.

Social Media Coordinator

Pet Parent to:

Lucy, an 8-year-old rescued Golden Retriever/Chow Chow mix

Blog Guidelines

While we’ll strive to present all viewpoints on this blog, comments will be reviewed before posting. Offensive or inappropriate language, off-topic remarks and comments containing personal policy information will not be featured.

Also, conditions discussed in this blog aren’t necessarily covered by every ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan. For full coverage terms, conditions and exclusions, please refer to your plan.

As always, if you have a question about your plan, call us at 1-866-204-6764.

*Note: While these testimonials may include examples of recent claims payouts, reimbursement is subject to the terms and conditions of your plan. Identifying information has been changed.