Pet Obesity Awareness Month

October is National
Pet Obesity Awareness Month! It is essential that we keep our furry friends on
a balanced and nutritional diet so as not to cause excessive weight gain. If
your animal is overweight, this can lead to a multitude of health problems, similar
to what humans experience when they are overweight!
Obesity in Cats
Excess weight in
cats can cause many problems including a shorter lifespan for your animal. When
cats are overweight they are not as active which is the impetus to heart health
issues. Cats that have been neutered or who are domesticated tend to be at the
highest risk for becoming obese because their metabolism and ability to be
active are altered.
In order to treat
obesity in cats, you must focus on weight loss and maintaining the decreased
body weight as a long-term goal. We are here to help you assess which foods are
perfect for your cat and which are aiding in their weight gain. Free feeding –
the practice of leaving out food for your cat so they can eat whenever they
choose, can cause consistent weight gain. Transitioning your cat to a diet that
includes canned food can help as it is comprised primarily of water and can
help your cat with their liquid intake as well. Furthermore, insuring that your
cat gets enough physical activity, even if you have an indoor cat is key. Using
toys such as laser lights will inspire your cat to jump, run and climb which
can aid in weight loss.
Obesity in Dogs
Just as in cats,
when dogs do not get enough exercise or there is overnourishment, they risk
becoming obese. Excess body fat can have a negative effect on your dog’s bones
and joints, in addition to their heart and lung health. Similar to cats, dogs
that have been neutered and who do not spend much time outside are at the
highest risk for obesity.
Reducing your dog’s
caloric intake and increasing their time spent in the outdoors running around
will help to decrease their weight and maintain a healthier lifestyle therefore
prolonging their lifespan as a whole. By changing your dog’s diet to one that
is high in fiber and protein but low in fat you are beginning the process for
weight loss. Your dog will begin to feel more full while their metabolism quickens
and their energy level increases. Finally, getting out with your dog and
playing fetch or going for longer walks can help to aid in this process.
Bottom Line
You want to pay
close attention to your four legged friends weight as this can cause a variety
of problems that are not always easy to reverse. If you believe your cat or dog
is overweight, it’s best to give us a call so we can talk you through what
should be done to start the weight loss process. If you are thinking of
changing your pet’s food, please consult with us first as changes in a dog or
cats diet can stress out your animal and hurt more than help.

Give us a call today
if you have any questions!

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