Veterinary Public Health

Pet Health Calendar
Contact Information
Veterinary Public Health Program
313 N Figueroa St. Rm 1127
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tel (213) 288-7060
Fax (213) 481-2375
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Healthy Pets Healthy Families - Obesity

Back to Healthy Pets Healthy Families (HPHF)




Obesity is a major human health issue in the United States. As it turns out, our pets are following in our footsteps and obesity is becoming a growing problem in animals too. In fact, about 50% of dogs and cats in the US are overweight or obese.


Researchers even believe that there is a link between obesity in humans and dogs. This means that we are passing our bad habits onto our pets. The good side of this relationship is that pets can also play a big part in helping us lose weight.


Facts about obesity in LA County


  • About 50% of people in LA County are considered overweight

  • Just like people, major causes of obesity in pets include lack of exercise and improper diet:

    • Pets that are free-fed (meaning the food is left out all day for them to feed) will often eat more than they need

  • Few pet owners can recognize if their pet is overweight - If you can't feel your pet's ribs, it's time to feed less

  • Obesity in both people and pets can put them at risk of: diabetes, arthritis or heart disease


What you can do to reduce obesity in you and your pet


  • Talk to your veterinarian about pet obesity

  • Make sure you feed your pet an appropriate diet:

    • Consult your veterinarian first before you put your pet on a diet

    • Avoid feeding table scraps or people food

    • Feed the right amount. Read the pet food label to see how much your pet needs

  • Exercise with your pet:

    • Consult your veterinarian before you start exercising with your pet

    • Just like us, the recommended daily exercise requirement for dogs is 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day

    • Running, jogging or hiking with your dog is great way to loose weight together


What the HPHF coalition does to reduce obesity in people and pets in LA County


As part of our Healthy Pets Healthy Families (HPHF) initiative, we want to promote increased awareness on issues related to animal obesity. This means making sure pet owners know how to recognize if their dog or cat is overweight.

Dog-friendly walking groups. HPHF is fostering the creation of dog-friendly community walking groups throughout LAC. If you are interested being a leader for such a group, feel free to contact us at the e-mail address on the left.


Activity calendar. Developed in 2016 by the HPHF coalition, this calendar provides children with healthy monthly activities they can do with the whole family.


Obesity focus area report. This reportpdf icon0 highlights in more details obesity trends in humans and animals in LA County and provides recommendations to reduce rates of obesity in people and pets.


More useful information about pet obesity


  • Walking For Health flyer, Keeping you and your dog fit - Englishpdf icon123sde/Espaņolpdf icon0



Last updated: July 14, 2017

Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.
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