Did you know that as many as 60 percent of our animal companions are obese? While there is no denying that chubby pets are cute, those extra pounds have a very detrimental effect on your furry pal’s health. A New Albany, IN vet discusses pet obesity in this article.
Obesity carries some very serious health risks for pets. These include heart disease, diabetes, heat intolerance, osteoarthritis, respiratory issues, liver and kidney problems, and an increased risk of certain cancers. Ask your vet for more information.
While diet and exercise play key roles in determining Fido and Fluffy’s weight, they aren’t the only ones. Age is another factor. Pets often gain weight over time. They also pack on pounds more easily after they’ve been fixed. Breed can also play a role. And while this wouldn’t make an official list, we also have to consider begging ability. Some of our patients have their owners wrapped around their paws!
Part of the reason pet obesity is such a widespread problem is that many people don’t take it seriously. We love to pamper our animal companions! Plus, it may not sound too concerning to learn that your furry buddy is a few pounds overweight. But even carrying a little extra weight can be detrimental.
Overfeeding is another issue. Pay close attention to portion sizes. Even giving Fido or Fluffy ten extra calories a day can add up to a pound a year. A hundred extra calories a day is almost a pound a month. That’s a lot for a pet! Ask your vet for specific recommendations, including serving sizes and snacks.
Exercise is also important. Fido should get at least one daily walk, while Fluffy will benefit from regular play sessions. Just stick with safe activities. Your four-legged friend’s workouts should be tailored to their age, size, breed, and health. A senior Chihuahua and a Boxer puppy have very different needs! Ask your vet for advice.
We can’t really discuss pet obesity without mentioning the fact that our animal companions are extremely skilled at cajoling us into offering treats and tidbits. You may need to steel yourself against Fido’s soulful stare. And if Fluffy is, well, not just fluffy, that pleading meow could be a lie!
As your New Albany, INanimal clinic, we’re dedicated to offering top-notch care. Please feel free to contact us anytime!