(WJBK) - Has your dog or cat packed on a few extra pounds? Overweight or obese animals can face a number of health-related problems. Weight loss or a healthier lifestyle is the #1 New Year’s resolution for people and we need to include our pets!About 50% of dogs and cats are overweight or obese. In the MHS veterinary practices, we find that feeding too many calories and pets not getting enough exercise are often to blame for unwanted weight gain. If you are not sure how much to feed your individual pet or how much exercise they should have, ask your veterinarian. Overweight animals are at greater risk of many serious health problems including: Heart disease and high blood pressure, diabete and thyroid disease. Extra weight can also aggravate arthritis and lead to back problems. At an ideal weight, you should be able to easily feel your dog or cat’s ribs, but not see them, appreciate their waste from above, and see their belly tucked up and not hanging down. If you suspect your pet is overweight, work with your veterinarian to develop a safe and healthy weight loss plan. This is especially critical for overweight cats, since losing weight too quickly can lead to a dangerous condition called fatty liver disease. For information about the pet of the week contact the Rochester Hills shelter at: 248-852-7420.