Pet obesity – why it’s a problem and how to avoid it
Is Your Pet Overweight? How To Know And What To Do
The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention says that about 54 percent of dogs and 59 percent of cats are too heavy. While your little love bug might be pampered, you may be giving him too much of a good thing. Pet obesity can lead to health problems and even shorten your furry friend’s life span.
Health Consequences For Overweight Dogs And Cats
Animals with too many fat cells can experience similar medical conditions as overweight humans. Their joints might suffer from the extra pounds that they have to lug around. Overweight cats and dogs are at an increased risk of arthritis.
Being overweight can also lead to chronic inflammation, which is responsible for a number of medical problems. It can cause skin conditions, fatigue and diabetes. Overweight cats are especially likely to develop blood glucose problems.
Excess weight can even impair animals’ most basic functions. If your cat doesn’t fit in the litter box, she may start having accidents around your house. A feline who can’t clean himself can experience physical problems, like matted hair, a stinky bottom and even acne.
What Is A Healthy Weight For Your Pet?
Many pet owners don’t know how much their pets should weigh. Some veterinarians are afraid to be honest with their patients because they don’t want to offend them.
WebMD says that the average domestic cat should weigh about 10 pounds. This guideline varies based on the animal’s breed and frame.
Although you might think your pet is too skinny if you can see her ribs, you should be able to feel them easily. You should notice that the waist tapers inward below the ribs when you view the animal from above. When you look at your pet’s profile, you should see the abdomen angle upwards toward the hind legs. A saggy belly or barely visible waist might be an indicator that your pet is too heavy.
Helping Your Pet Lose Weight
You should help Fluffy or Fido lose weight. A study by Purina found that dogs that maintained an ideal weight lived almost two years longer than overweight dogs from the same litter.
You can help your pet by:
- Using food as treats instead of offering goodies in addition to regular meals.
- Making your animal work for food by doing tricks.
- Avoiding giving in when a bored animal begs for food.
- Encouraging her to exercise; play with your kitty more often, and take your dog for walks.
Be patient. Weight loss in pets can be slow.
In the meantime, it’s your responsibility to groom your animal if he can’t do it himself. A natural pet shampoo can cleanse your pet’s skin and fur without worsening skin problems. Specialty wipes are one of the most convenient dog grooming supplies. They remove dirt, mucus, drool and dander from your animal’s fur without the need for a bath.
Don’t panic if your pet is overweight! Work closely with your veterinarian to determine his ideal weight. Measure food portions so that you’re not overfeeding, and make sure that your pet gets enough exercise. Keeping your best friend healthy will help him be your cuddly companion for as long as possible!