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 other 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

From Absolute Unit On The Brink Of Being Put Down Due To Health Issues, To A Smiling Boy

Biglittlebonner Report

Vicky Z
Community Member
1 week ago

Wow that's a huge difference

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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

Kai Has Lost 100 Lbs Between 2018 And 2019, Goodest Of Boyes

dom_bul Report

Sergy Yeltsen
Community Member
1 week ago

That's amazing. Well done, the both of you.

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#3

My Cat Was 23lbs When We Adopted Him, Today He’s 12lbs And No Longer Diabetic!

My Cat Was 23lbs When We Adopted Him, Today He’s 12lbs And No Longer Diabetic!

hummusndaze Report

Sheila McEnany Markowitz
Community Member
1 week ago

So awesome to hear of improved health. Diabetes is a killer. What a handsome boy!

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Dr. Ernie Ward, the founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, agrees. "A typical 'dog bone' or common treat can contain 20-50 calories. For a 20-30 pound dog, that single reward is often more than 10% of their total daily caloric allowance," Dr. Ward told Bored Panda. "The sad truth is most dogs receive two to five treats each day, adding up excess calories quickly." 

He noted that people who don't weigh or measure their pet's food can also cause some harm. "Adding an extra 10-calories a day, about 10 pieces of typical pet food kibble, can add a pound to the average cat or small dog over a year."

The worldwide prevalence of pet obesity hover between 22% and 44%, and rates seem to be rising. In the UK, where the PDSA has been operating since 1917, the situation is getting worse too.

Dr. Ward has been diagnosing a lot of pets with obesity over the last 25 years. "Part of the reason is due to the fact that I’m a veterinarian whose area of interest is obesity; the other part is that pet obesity is becoming more prevalent," he said.

"This is an incredibly important issue because pets with obesity are at increased risk for developing serious weight-related disorders such as diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, kidney disease, cancer, and more. Currently, an estimated 60% of cats and 56% of dogs in the US are classified by their vet as overweight or have obesity. That equals over 100 million dogs and cats at risk for avoidable disease, pain, and shortened life expectancy. We must do better."

#4

Jazzy Is Running & Jumping Just In Time For Her 10th Birthday Tomorrow! We Love You Jazzy! 16 Lbs To Go!

Jazzy Is Running & Jumping Just In Time For Her 10th Birthday Tomorrow! We Love You Jazzy! 16 Lbs To Go!

rachel_lorelle21 Report

Martha Meyer
Community Member
1 week ago

That poor dog. First pic is awful!

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#5

Phoebe’s Diet Is Going Well!

Phoebe’s Diet Is Going Well!

oythisisridiculous Report

Vicky Z
Community Member
1 week ago

Well done phoebe!!!

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"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."

"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.

#6

The Cutest Ex-Chonker

The Cutest Ex-Chonker

Introvert_Extrovert Report

Cecilia Herrera
Community Member
1 week ago

Wow! What a difference!

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#7

My Mill Rescue Who Made It Full Circle. Now She's Spayed And Well Muscled!

My Mill Rescue Who Made It Full Circle. Now She's Spayed And Well Muscled!

ScarlettKate1928 Report

Bianca Dawn Pommier
Community Member
1 week ago

the dirst picture looks like hos mom caught him with a girl

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#8

Bruno Gets Dechonkt

Bruno Gets Dechonkt

reddit.com Report

lil_gremlin
Community Member
1 week ago

and he kept his cuteness!

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To help your pet achieve a healthy body composition, Dr. Ward suggests these tips:

  • "The first step is, you guessed it, to weigh your [pet] regularly. The body stores excess energy as fat tissue, so it’s a safe bet that an otherwise healthy dog or cat who gained four pounds probably gained most of that as fat. If you can safely pick up and weigh your pet, you can get a good idea of how their weight is trending monthly. Spotting weight trends early is essential in avoiding excessive weight gain. In addition, if you regularly weigh them, you’re more likely to spot inexplicable weight loss early, a common finding in pets with cancer."
  • "Next, you can consult the breed weight charts on the petobesityprevention.org website and other breed standards. Mixed breeds can be tricky, so get your vet team involved to help."
  • "Your vet will use a body condition score (BCS) and perhaps a muscle condition score (MCS) to better gauge if your pet is at a healthy body composition. This is basically a subjective assessment of body fat percentage, and is a helpful tool for tracking progress over time."
  • "At home, you can also perform a modified BCS by consulting the charts and performing a few simple tests. First, you should be able to easily feel – and count – your pet's ribs when you lightly run your fingers across the side. If you can’t easily feel those smooth bones, that’s a sign your doggo is probably carrying extra weight."
  • "Next, when you look down on your pet from above, you should see an “hourglass figure” or an indentation near the midsection. If your pet looks like a blimp from above, it’s probably overweight or has obesity."
  • "Finally, when you observe your pet from the side as it stands, you should see a slight tuck or upward slope of the tummy. If the abdomen hangs low and drags near the ground, that indicates the most dangerous and biologically active form of fat, abdominal fat, is present. Time to get professional help."
#9

Buddy’s Epic Weight Loss! He Was Around 20kg, And Now He’s At 13kg

Buddy’s Epic Weight Loss! He Was Around 20kg, And Now He’s At 13kg

DanOwen46 Report

Ian Kelly
Community Member
1 week ago

Teefs

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#10

From 95 Grams To 80 Grams. Alexander Has Reached His Goal Chonk!

From 95 Grams To 80 Grams. Alexander Has Reached His Goal Chonk!

Azrielenish Report

Vicky Z
Community Member
1 week ago

Alexander has a great tail!

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#11

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!

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!

thumper_spot Report

Cecilia Herrera
Community Member
1 week ago

Poor Belle. She would not have been able to walk at that state. God Bless You for helping her in her journey to good health.

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#12

From Thicc To Stick: Massive Tuxie Loses 3 Kg/Half A Stone. More Pounds Have Rolled Since The Picture Was Taken (April 2019)

From Thicc To Stick: Massive Tuxie Loses 3 Kg/Half A Stone. More Pounds Have Rolled Since The Picture Was Taken (April 2019)

I-ate-your-pony Report

Sergy Yeltsen
Community Member
1 week ago

He's such a handsome boy! (or a gorgeous girl. I don't know).

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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 at a healthy weight and what to do if not.

#13

Motivation: The Weight-Loss Journey Of Skinny The Cat. He Lost About 10 Kg In Total

Motivation: The Weight-Loss Journey Of Skinny The Cat. He Lost About 10 Kg In Total

I-ate-your-pony Report

Francesca Annoni
Community Member
1 week ago

My cats weight 7 kilos each.. he lost about a cat and half...

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#14

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!

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!

h2ogood4me Report

KJ
Community Member
1 week ago

So pleased someone gave her a second chance at having a happy life.

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#15

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

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

Spookybits9737 Report

Vicky Z
Community Member
1 week ago

Aww so sad! At least she had care and love at her last days

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#16

One Of My Favorite Dechonks - Meet Bronson!

One Of My Favorite Dechonks - Meet Bronson!

chatorce Report

crazy_cat_notAlady
Community Member
1 week ago

bronson has thumbs! and s/he deserves a big thumbs up. here u go 👍

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See Also on Bored Panda
#17

Chasing The Dog Chased Away The Chonk!!!!

Chasing The Dog Chased Away The Chonk!!!!

WOOKIExRAGE Report

Sergy Yeltsen
Community Member
1 week ago

A beautiful moo has emerged.

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#18

My Service Dog, Avalanche, Is Back To A Healthy Weight!

My Service Dog, Avalanche, Is Back To A Healthy Weight!

ShelbyEileen Report

Nicola Roberts
Community Member
1 week ago

Looks like it's taken years off him too.

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#19

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

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

soulandthesea Report

ShadowLand 🇨🇦
Community Member
1 week ago

OMGosh! I had a cat that went through the same thing. As soon as he got home from surgery he staggered to his dish and starting eating. It won't take long for your sweet boy to reach his target weight.

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#20

One Year Of Dechonkification

One Year Of Dechonkification

zigguratastic Report

Zozo🤟
Community Member
1 week ago

Dat is a very purrty cat

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#21

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!

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!

brattyash Report

lil_gremlin
Community Member
1 week ago

adorable void!

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#22

Almost Three Years Of Dechonkin’

Almost Three Years Of Dechonkin’

sitonmytits Report

Laura Mende (Human)
Community Member
1 week ago

Banana for scale? Adorable kitty btw.

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#23

Was Told Ernie Would Be Appreciated Here

Was Told Ernie Would Be Appreciated Here

xrat-kingx Report

Brîndușa
Community Member
1 week ago

🤣❤

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#24

My Handsome Man 7 Months Ago And Today!

My Handsome Man 7 Months Ago And Today!

sarahk828 Report

Olivia Betterton
Community Member
1 week ago

The ear?

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#25

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

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

succubuskitten1 Report

Banana Bear
Community Member
1 week ago

She's definitely thinner and looks more energetic! also super cute

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#26

Eli Lost A Whole Cat's Worth Of Weight! From 23 Lbs Down To 13.8

Eli Lost A Whole Cat's Worth Of Weight! From 23 Lbs Down To 13.8

TechnoAllah Report

Eli Rockwell
Community Member
1 week ago

You adopted a 2-in-1 package! 🤣🤣

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See Also on Bored Panda
#27

Chonk To Dechonk: Gary’s Workout Plan... Food And Water On Separate Levels Of The House

Chonk To Dechonk: Gary’s Workout Plan... Food And Water On Separate Levels Of The House

dr_camp Report

KJ
Community Member
1 week ago

Great cat name, love pets with human names.

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#28

Another Dechonk - Barsik! He's Gone From 41 Lbs To 27 Lbs

Another Dechonk - Barsik! He's Gone From 41 Lbs To 27 Lbs

chatorce Report

Jessica Bertram
Community Member
1 week ago

jesus who DOES that to a poor animal??? 🙀

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#29

It Took A Heafty Bribe, And Two Years, But My Cat Finally Lost The Weight!

It Took A Heafty Bribe, And Two Years, But My Cat Finally Lost The Weight!

Madmae16 Report

Cecilia Herrera
Community Member
1 week ago

Do you mean to tell me that all it took was "a hefty bribe" to motivate your cat to lose weight? Hmm. I wonder if this would work on me if I bribed myself?

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#30

9 Months Progress - 8.2 -> 6.7 Kg!

9 Months Progress - 8.2 -> 6.7 Kg!

ejilee Report

Eli Rockwell
Community Member
1 week ago

Even your cat is surprised!

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Note: this post originally had 77 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.