WASHINGTON, D.C. — Pet Food Institute (PFI) on June 22 published a new resource to help pet owners avoid overfeeding their companions and prevent pet obesity. According to the organization, it is estimated that 56% of dogs and 60% of cats are either overweight or considered obese.

“Whether a family welcomed home a new dog or cat for the first time, or someone spent more time with their four-legged co-worker at the home office, pets gave us all companionship and friendship during the last year,” said Dana Brooks, chief executive officer of PFI. “It’s important for pet lovers to show they care by keeping their dog or cat at a healthy weight to ensure well-being. With this new tool from PFI, pet lovers will be equipped with quick tips to avoid pet obesity and keep their pet’s weight in check.”  

The new web resource offers feeding and treating tips, as well as a short video explaining the risks of pet obesity and practical methods to ensure dogs and cats are getting all the essential nutrients they need, without being overfed.

“It’s crucial that dogs and cats enjoy a complete and balanced diet, meaning that each serving of pet food provides the more than 40 nutrients pets need, in the proper amounts,” Brooks said. “Alongside finding fun activities with our pets and being mindful of treats, pet owners can work with their veterinarian to help keep their pet healthy.”

As part of this new resource, PFI recommended that treats only make up 10% of a pet’s total daily caloric intake, and that owners should never substitute treats for a complete-and-balanced meal. The organization also warned against feeding table scraps to pets, and encouraged pet owners to seek advice from a veterinarian for specific weight loss strategies.

Pet Food Institute offers a range of pet ownership resources on its website, answering questions about pet food ingredients, labeling, and other nutritional topics affecting pet health.

Stay up to date on the latest pet food processing industry headlines on our News page.