Over 1.9 billion human adults are overweight. Of these, more than 650 million are obese – that’s roughly 13% of the planet’s adult human population. The worldwide prevalence of obesity has almost tripled since 1975. And it’s not just us who are suffering from this problem.
According to RSPCA, the largest animal welfare charity in the UK, obesity is a serious issue in pets as well and it can take a huge toll on their health if we allow it. But if we help our critters to maintain a healthy diet and make sure they receive plenty of exercise, our critters can bounce back!
And probably no place celebrates these journeys more than r/dechonkers. The subreddit collects impressive before-and-after photos of animals who successfully got rid of their excess weight. Take a look!
#1 From Absolute Unit On The Brink Of Being Put Down Due To Health Issues, To A Smiling Boy
Image credits: Biglittlebonner
To learn more about why pets put on unwanted pounds and how to make them go away, we contacted PDSA Vet Lynne James. “One mistake that is easy to make when faced with adorable kitten or puppy eyes is indulging our pets with treats,” James told Bored Panda. “Treats can quickly add up, yet they should only make up 10% of your pet’s daily food allowance.”
“Work out how much your pet should be eating each day and don’t overfeed them; weigh out their daily allowance to prevent accidental over-feeding and take out 10% of their allowance to use as their treats for the day. Choose healthy treats such as a few slices of carrot for dogs or a small piece of white fish or lean meat, which both cats and dogs can enjoy. Most pets would be just as happy with extra attention, an extra walk, or playtime!”
The veterinarian highlighted that what seems like a small snack for us can be a lot more for our pets. “For example, did you know that feeding your dog two digestive biscuits is the same as you eating a whole chocolate cake? Or that feeding your cat a tin of tuna is like you eating 35 chicken nuggets!”
#2 Kai Has Lost 100 Lbs Between 2018 And 2019, Goodest Of Boyes
Image credits: dom_bul
#3 Phoebe’s Diet Is Going Well!
Image credits: oythisisridiculous
The worldwide prevalence of pet obesity howe between 22% and 44%, and rates seem to be rising. In the UK, where PDSA has been operating since 1917, the situation is getting worse too.
“Pet obesity has been a huge problem [here] for many years and sadly there is no sign of improvement, with up to nearly one in every two pets seen by vets and vet nurses overweight or obese,” Lynne James said.
“In 2020, 78% of veterinary professionals told us that they had seen an increase in pet obesity over the last two years. Our 2021 PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report found 9% of dog owners, 5% of cat owners and 9% of rabbit owners told us their pet had gained weight during the pandemic, while 9% of dog owners, 5% of cat owners and 4% of rabbit owners told us that they had fed more human treats during the pandemic.”
#4 Jazzy Is Running & Jumping Just In Time For Her 10th Birthday Tomorrow! We Love You Jazzy! 16 Lbs To Go!
Image credits: rachel_lorelle21
#5 My Cat Was 23lbs When We Adopted Him, Today He’s 12lbs And No Longer Diabetic!
Image credits: hummusndaze
#6 My Mill Rescue Who Made It Full Circle. Now She’s Spayed And Well Muscled!
Image credits: ScarlettKate1928
Much like humans, animals need more than just the treadmill to get in shape. Around 90 percent of a cat’s weight loss, for instance, is related to diet and only 10 percent has to do with physical activity.
“Your pet’s diet has a huge impact on their health and happiness. The wrong diet can lead to obesity and life-long health issues, so it’s important to feed them the right food to keep them a healthy weight and make sure they’re getting all the nutrients they need,” PDSA’s Lynne James added.
“We recommend feeding high-quality, complete food from pet shops, vets or PDSA’s Pet Store. Complete diets for your pet’s life stage contain all the nutrients your pet needs, in the correct amounts.”
“We recommend giving your pet the best quality food that you can afford, if you’re not sure which brands are well established and high-quality, speak to your veterinary practice. The foods that are recommended by your vet or vet nurse will be those which have been produced as a result of dedicated scientific research into the nutritional needs of your pet.
#7 The Cutest Ex-Chonker
Image credits: Introvert_Extrovert
#8 From 95 Grams To 80 Grams. Alexander Has Reached His Goal Chonk!
Image credits: Azrielenish
#9 Bruno Gets Dechonkt
Image credits: reddit.com
PDSA’s #WeighUp guide is an invaluable tool that empowers owners to identify the signs of weight gain in their pets and take practical steps to address them.
“The good news is that even if your pooch or kitty is in need of a health kick, it’s never too late to help them eat well, exercise and play more, and live longer,” Lynne reassured. “In most cases, simply adapting their diet, replacing treats with playtime, and encouraging them to move more can make a huge difference, and are all the ingredients needed for our pets to maintain a healthy weight, essential for a happy, healthy life.”
Find out more about PDSA’s #WeighUp campaign, and download its free guide to help check if your pet is a healthy weight and what to do if not.
#10 From Thicc To Stick: Massive Tuxie Loses 3 Kg/Half A Stone. More Pounds Have Rolled Since The Picture Was Taken (April 2019)
Image credits: I-ate-your-pony
#11 Buddy’s Epic Weight Loss! He Was Around 20kg, And Now He’s At 13kg
Image credits: DanOwen46
#12 Motivation: The Weight-Loss Journey Of Skinny The Cat. He Lost About 10 Kg In Total
Image credits: I-ate-your-pony
#13 I Got Darling Belle About Two Months Ago (On The Left) And Immediately Put Her On A Diet. Show Her Some Love As She Continues Her Dechonkin’ Journey!
Image credits: thumper_spot
#14 One Of My Favorite Dechonks – Meet Bronson!
Image credits: chatorce
#15 Sookie Progress: 90% Dechonkified. Started Fostering Her 7 Months Ago After She Was Abandoned From A Puppy Mill Operation At 74lbs. We Adopted Her A Month Ago And Is Now At 48lbs!
Image credits: h2ogood4me
#16 A Sad Update/Cautionary Tale. Some Of You Might Remember Molly, Who Came To Live With Me For A While To Lose Weight. Sadly Today At The Age Of 6, Molly Crossed Rainbow Bridge. Please Do Not Over Feed Your Pets, It Kills
Image credits: Spookybits9737
#17 Chasing The Dog Chased Away The Chonk!!!!
Image credits: WOOKIExRAGE
#18 One Year Of Dechonkification
Image credits: zigguratastic
#19 My Service Dog, Avalanche, Is Back To A Healthy Weight!
Image credits: ShelbyEileen
#20 My Reverse Chonk! He Stopped Eating Last Summer And Lost A Lot Of Weight, Turns Out Many Of His Teeth Were Bad And He Was In Too Much Pain To Eat. He Had Surgery In December And Has Been Putting On Weight Since! Vet Wants Him A Bit Chonky Since He’s A Senior And Prone To Being On The Lighter Side
Image credits: soulandthesea
#21 Almost Three Years Of Dechonkin’
Image credits: sitonmytits
#22 Was Told Ernie Would Be Appreciated Here
Image credits: xrat-kingx
#23 My Handsome Man 7 Months Ago And Today!
Image credits: sarahk828
#24 Bella Has Lost 9 Pounds And Is Very Close To Her Goal Weight. I’m Not Sure If She Looks Thinner But She Seems To Feel Better And Run Around More
Image credits: succubuskitten1
#25 Even Though We Loved Our Chonker Girl, We Knew She’d Be Happier Healthy. After Starting Medication For Her Barbering, A Prescription Diet For Weight Loss, And A New Feeding Schedule, She’s A Chonker No More!
Image credits: brattyash
#26 Eli Lost A Whole Cat’s Worth Of Weight! From 23 Lbs Down To 13.8
Image credits: TechnoAllah
#27 9 Months Progress – 8.2 -> 6.7 Kg!
Image credits: ejilee
#28 It Took A Heafty Bribe, And Two Years, But My Cat Finally Lost The Weight!
Image credits: Madmae16
#29 Another Dechonk – Barsik! He’s Gone From 41 Lbs To 27 Lbs
Image credits: chatorce
#30 Chonk To Dechonk: Gary’s Workout Plan… Food And Water On Separate Levels Of The House
Image credits: dr_camp