Do you have an overweight pet?
54% of dogs and cats are overweight or obese in the United States
Does this fur make me look fat?
Sadly, today’s pet population is mimicking the weight issues of the human population, and the health risks associated with it. It is estimated that 54% of dogs and cats are overweight or obese in the United States. Sadly, nearly half of all pet owners incorrectly identify their overweight or obese pet as being in the normal weight range.
Possible reasons your pet is overweight:
There are many reasons as to why your pet may be overweight or obese. Some of the most common reasons are access to too much food, poor quality food, giving your pet too many treats, and not enough exercise or play time. Some dog breeds can be prone to obesity but there are many things you can do to prevent them from becoming overweight.
How to tell if your dog or cat is overweight:
Ideally, the ribs and spine are easily felt but not easily seen. There is a waist when viewed from above, and the abdomen is raised and not sagging when viewed from the side. If you cannot feel your pet’s ribs at all, then your pet is very overweight. If you are unsure, make sure to check with your veterinarian.
Overweight and obese pets have an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, breathing problems, osteoarthritis pain, shortened life expectancy, high blood pressure and kidney disease. This is very similar to the effects obesity has on humans as well.
How to help your pet lose weight:
When feeding your pet, it’s highly recommended to use portion control. Over the years research has proven that pets who consume a calorie restricted diet live two years longer than those without calorie restriction. Take your dog for actual walks and don’t allow them to stop and smell the roses for too long. Make sure to give your pets at least 15 minutes of active play time twice a day or more to help your pet burn some extra calories.
If you feel your dog or cat is putting on a little too much weight, contact us at Family Veterinary Clinic.