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Published: May 03, 2011

Pet obesity has become as much of an issue for dogs and cats as it is for people. A veterinarian from South Bend, Indiana, recently provided a couple of tips to help a pet shed a couple of pounds, according to the Indiana-based news channel WNDU-TV.

Exercise is one of the main factors in preventing obesity among animals. In addition, limiting treats and eliminating table scraps can help a pet lose weight.

Obesity can contribute to many health conditions including pet diabetes, arthritis, heart and lung problems, high blood pressure and even certain forms of cancer. Pets that are obese will have a shorter life expectancy when compared to pets of a normal body weight.

A pet is not able to communicate when there is a problem, therefore, regular veterinary exams can determine if the animal is at risk. Dogs and cats may have thyroid or other problems that result in the animal being overweight.

According to the ASPCA, there are a couple of telltale signs that indicate if an animal is obese. If the owner is unable to easily feel the ribs or the pet is having trouble moving around, these may be warning signs that the furry friend is obese.