Obesity in pets is a growing problem. It is estimated that over 17 million dogs and cats are obese.
Causes: Causes for obesity are too much food, too little exercise, and may also be due to a metabolic or an endocrine disorder.
Health Risks of Obesity: An obese pet may not be a healthy pet. Extra pounds can really put a strain on your pet’s body. Some common problems associated with obesity are breathing problems, heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes.
How to tell if your pet is overweight: You should be able to see the waist line when looking at your pet from above. You should also be able to feel the ribcage without seeing the ribs.
What can be done?
Diet and Exercise: Just like with people, reducing the calories going into the body and increasing the calories leaving the body is the best way to shed the pounds. It’s a simple concept that can be very hard to follow. A healthy dog or cat typically needs 30 calories per pound per day. This is for a dog with a healthy exercise program. Keep this in mind when feeding treats. Dog biscuits and human food can be very high in calories.
Special Diet: We have a prescription diet that is called Satiety by Royal Canin. We recommend coming in every month for weight checks so that the amount of food can be adjusted accordingly. This food contains high amounts of fiber so that your pet feels fuller for longer periods of time.
Your pet can live years longer when maintained at a healthy weight. It is better for your pet’s body to be slightly underweight than to be overweight. Your pet should receive 30 minutes of exercise per day.