What To Do When Your Pet’s Turning Into A Little Fattie Boombalada

Pets come in all shapes and sizes, and absolutely we love them all, from the skinny bebs to the portly fellas.

Sure, some dog and cat breeds run on the stocky side, some on the skinny side – and that is TOTALLY FINE. No pet bod-shaming here, folks.

But what do you do when your pet starts stacking on kg’s to an unhealthy level? Actually, what even is an unhealthy level when it comes to pet weight? We hit up local vet Dr. Jennifer Millar, veterinary surgeon at Willoughby Veterinary Hospital, for her hot tips on managing your pets weight so it’s a happy, healthy lil’ guy.


You know how you love to sneak your doggo a bit of steak under the table during dinner? Or let Pugsy the cat have two bickies because he’s been such a good boy and hasn’t scratched you once this week? Do not do that. Or at least, keep an eye on it. Treats are a prime reason this world has so many porky pets.

“We often forget about all those extra treats and table scraps that we give our pets throughout the day, but they add up calorie-wise,” explains Jennifer. “Often I start with cutting out any treats or snacks, and preparing meals at the beginning of the day; if a treat is needed for training or reward purposes, use a small portion of the already allocated meal, so you know exactly what calorie intake they have throughout the day.”


Overfeeding. It’s fairly simple – usually people with overweight pets are feeding them too much. They may be putting too much in their bowl, feeding too many times per day, but a really common one is thinking your pet is actually underweight when they’re really just a healthy size.

“Owners are often a poor judge of what an ‘ideal’ weight is in their pet, because we become conditioned to the normal appearance of other dogs at the park or cats in the neighbourhood, which can be overweight,” explains Jennifer. “I have many clients tell me their pet has been called ‘skinny’ at the park when in fact they are an ideal body mass.”

So what’s the “right” weight for your dog or cat?

“In general, dogs and cats should have a ‘waist’ as viewed from above, and from the side they should tuck up in their abdomen – it shouldn’t be hard to feel a rib!” says Jennifer. “The best judge of your pet’s ‘body condition score’ (as we call it in the veterinary world) is your vet. So make sure you ask the question next time you visit.”

Remember occasionally weight gain can be due to a hormonal imbalance, so it’s always worth getting them checked out by a vet regardless.


It’s the obvious one – pets need to be active. When it comes to dogs, this is easy – hit up the park a bit more, get them running after balls or organise social stuff with other dogs in the neighbourhood to encourage a proper workout for your pup. But what about cats? They’re lazy as hell and would absolutely refuse to run around a park.

“Indoor cats are a hard one,” says Jennifer. “Remember, they don’t have a huge amount of stimulation. So the best way to get them active is to play with them.”

Get the flashlight out so your cat can chase it along the wall, roll a jingly ball for them to chase during The Bachelor – whatever you’ve gotta do to get your cat moving around.


The first and most important thing to do, before jumping to any conclusions about your pets weight, is to take them in for a checkup at the vet. Often overweight pets are a result of all the above, but sometimes it can be a sign of a different issue.

“Remember that occasionally weight gain can be due to a hormonal imbalance, so it’s always worth getting them checked out by a vet regardless,” says Jennifer.