Overweight Pet Care
Pets do take after humans, and weight is no exception. Todays pet population is reflecting the same weight issues that the human population has and the health risks associated with it. It is estimated that 54% of all dogs are overweight or obese in the United states.
How to tell is your Pet is Overweight?
The first thing you should look at is the area in front of the hind legs. There should be a waist area when viewed from above. When viewed from the side, the stomach area should be raised and not sagging. Next, feel the pet’s rib area. Your dog or cat’s ribs should be easily felt but not easily seen. If you cannot feel your pets ribs, then your pet is very overweight. If you are not sure. Contact your veterinarian and he will let you know.
Health Concerns with Overweight Pets
Overweight and obese pets have an increased chance of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, osteoarthritis pain and breathing problems. This is similar to the effects of obesity on humans as well. Obesity will result in an overall shortened life expectancy.
How to Help Your Pet Lose Weight
The first thing you need to look at is portion control. Veterinary research has proven that pets who consume a calorie restricted diet live roughly 2 years longer than those who do not have any calorie restrictions. Measure their daily intake of food and portion it out accordingly. Do not feed your pet food scraps from the table.
The other major thing is to keep your pet active. Take them on frequent walks, preferably daily walks of at least 15 minutes. Make sure you give your pets 15 minutes of active play time twice a day. Taken in conjunction with diet, this will help your pet burn off some extra calories.
If you feel that your dog or cat is overweight contact us today at the Animal Medical Center of Streetsboro and we will help you derive a plan to help your pet shed those extra pounds.