Did you know that according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), more that 45% of dogs and 58% of cats are classified as overweight or obese. If you are looking at your pet and wondering if it is overweight, here are some things you can check:
- Can you feel the ribs and spine? On an ideal body type you should be able to feel the ribs and spine with a little layer of tissue over it.
- Does he have an hourglass figure? You should be able to see and feel your pet’s waist. It should be clearly visible when viewed from above.
- You should also be able to see the tummy tucked up when viewed from the side.
You may be thinking, “So what? My animal is overweight; there is just more of him to love.” This may be the case; however, pet obesity can cause some serious health problems, and make existing ones worse, which can reduce your beloved pet’s life span and decrease his quality of life. Some conditions are:
- Heart disease
- Respiratory compromise (difficulty breathing)
- Exercise intolerance
- Osteoarthritis (lameness, joint pain etc.)
- High blood pressure
- Increased anesthetic risks
- Lower immune function
Your Vet may have told you that “Fluffy” should lose a little bit of weight, but did you know that for cats and small dogs 1 lb overweight = 10 lbs overweight for humans? For large breed dogs 1 lb overweight = 5 lbs overweight on a human? Even if Fluffy is only 5 lbs overweight (if we think about it in human weight), Fluffy would be a 50 lb overweight human!
- Put your furry companion on a healthy nutritious diet
- Increase exercise slowly
- Decrease food intake (with measured meals)
- Consult your Veterinarian with any questions
If you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s weight, talk to one of our team members at Mitchell Veterinary Services or Pauly Veterinary Clinic.