Pet obesity has become a serious issue in the US. Your pet deserves to have a long and happy life. It is important to feed your pet an appropriate diet and make sure he gets plenty of exercise to help prevent them from becoming overweight. Our veterinarians at Apple Valley have put together some guidelines to help you understand obesity and take steps to prevent it.
Types of Health Issues Associated with Obesity
Did you know that more than 50% of dogs and cats in the US are overweight or obese? Overweight pets are at increased risk for a variety of health issues, some of which can be fatal. Here are some of the health issues your pet can face if he or she is overweight:
- Kidney Disease
- High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
- Damage to joints, bones, and ligaments (Hip Dysplasia & Arthritis)
- Heart disease
- Decreased Liver Function
- Decreased breathing and stamina
- Increased risk of Cancer
- Decreased life expectancy
Is My Dog or Cat Overweight?
There are various ways to determine if your pet is overweight. The easiest would be to take your dog in for a pet wellness exam. You can also look at your dog’s shape; it should be similar to an hourglass, with a smaller waist than the rest of the frame. Dogs and cats that are overweight tend to have an oval or egg-shaped body with a larger belly and bottom. Of course different breeds of dog may have shaped that make it difficult to tell.
On a healthy animal, you should be able to feel their ribs, although you shouldn’t be able to see them. If your pet’s ribs are visible it means they are underweight. Although even very young dogs cn be overweight, most pets that become obese do so when they are at least 7 years of age. Their weight will increase significantly and you may be able to note accumulations of fat on their hips, on their neck areas, and on their bellies. Doctors Rothstein and Freiman can advise you about what your pet’s ideal healthy weight should be.
If you are concerned about your pet’s weight you should contact us to make an appointment to discuss the best options for your little furry friend. Our veterinarians can treat your cat or dog if a medical issue is discovered, and provide you with a custom weight loss program for your cat or dog.
Recommended Treatment for Pet Obesity
Pets that are overweight should have their calories restricted and exercise increased. In order to determine the right amount of food your pet should be consuming to lose weight. This can be a little tricky, especially in cats, so please consult with us before trying this on your own. We will take into consideration your pet’s breed, age, and health history before making any recommendations.
Your veterinarian will monitor your pet’s weight regularly in order to ensure that your pet is losing weight gradually and in a healthy way. He may also advise any necessary modifications if your pet’s weight isn’t coming off.
Weight Loss Tips for Your Pet
Here are some tips to help keep your pet’s weight under control:
- Avoid feeding your pet “snacks” from your plate. All of those little snacks add up to a lot of extra calories.
- Use your treats appropriately they are not meant to be a major part of your dog’s nutrition. They are important as rewards for good behavior and jobs well done. If you give your pet too many treats they’ll be consuming more calories than their daily recommended total.
- Measure your pet’s food to ensure that you are giving them the recommended amount.
- Get your pet used to an exercise routine. Take your dog out for a walk or play with your cat at the same time every day.
Pet Obesity Prevention in Southington
The best way to ensure your pet doesn’t become overweight is to have regular visits with a veterinarian. If you’re looking for a veterinarian in Southington, CT the Apple Valley Veterinarians are here for you and your pet! Schedule your pet’s appointment by contacting us at (860) 628-9635 or learn more about us at applevalleyvets.com. We proudly serve pets in Southington, CT, and surrounding areas.