Your pet's healthy weight

Woman holding cat while talking to female veterinarian

Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce your pet’s risk of disease and injury and gives them the best chance of a long, healthy, quality life. Your veterinarian can help you determine whether your pet’s weight is healthy and can work with you to develop a weight management plan based on your pet’s individual needs.

Benefits of a healthy weight

Keeping your pet at a healthy weight lowers their risk of certain health problems like arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, breathing problems, back problems, kidney disease, and some forms of cancer. It also can reduce your pet’s risk of joint injuries associated with excess weight. And if your pet has arthritis, maintaining a healthy weight can make it easier to manage any associated pain or discomfort.

On the other hand, excess weight can increase your pet’s risk of issues during anesthesia, reduce their life expectancy, and impair their quality of life. For these and other reasons, keeping your pet trim gives them the best chance of a longer, healthier, and pain-free life.

Veterinary toolkit

AVMA members: The AVMA's Animal Obesity Toolkit helps you educate clients about the risks associated with obesity, and how to work with you to prevent and manage it.


Get the brochure

Keep healthy weight information on hand, whether at home or in the clinic.


Your pet's healthy weight chart

How do I know if my pet’s weight is healthy?

First and foremost, have an honest conversation with your veterinarian about your pet’s weight. Your veterinarian can check your pet’s weight and overall health, and make recommendations specially tailored to your pet’s needs, including nutrition and exercise. But a healthy weight isn’t simply a number on a scale. Your veterinarian can also teach you to assess your pet’s body condition by looking at their body shape and feeling certain parts of their body.