While the COVID-19 pandemic has been a struggle both physically and emotionally for millions of humans, it’s been a positive in the life of many pets.

With more adults working from home and being in the house more in general, pets were able to be around their owners more and also get more exercise.

Much like people, however, pandemic-related weight gain has also been a problem for pets. A recent survey found that 36% of 1,000 dog owners polled said that their pup has put on pounds during the pandemic—and that weight gain is despite the dogs having more exercise than normal. Perhaps not surprisingly, 40% of those surveyed said that they were giving their pets more table scraps or extra treats over the last year and a half.

So, how can you help get control of Fido’s weight? Corning Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing has four ways to identify and resolve a pet’s weight problem.

  1. Get Checked at the Vet

The first step should be to identify the problem. If you’re not sure what a healthy weight for you pet should be, call your veterinarian. They will let you know where your pet should be on the scale.

  1. It’s All About Portion Control

It’s easier to have a pet lose weight than yourself because you have to worry about your own willpower to stay on a diet. For an animal, just feed it less food. Use a measuring cup when scooping their food to keep them on track for their food intake and weight goals.

  1. Swap Out Packaged Treats for Healthy Ones

Most packaged dog and cat treats are not healthy at all. Instead, swap them out with healthier alternatives like fruits and vegetables that your pet may enjoy.

  1. Be Patient

Since pets cannot dramatically increase their exercise or go on a crash diet, be patient with the weight-loss process. Dogs shouldn’t be losing more than 5% of their body weight per month, and cats can only lose about a half of a pound per month.


To learn more about Corning Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing and all of the services they offer, visit http://corning-center.facilities.centershealthcare.org.