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Pet Obesity Day is October 13th. We know, most of our furry patients would happily spend the day just lounging about, eating snacks. And, to be fair, some of them probably will do just that. While it’s natural to want to pamper your furry friend, you actually aren’t doing your pet any favors by doling out endless treats. A Norwalk, CA vet discusses pet obesity below.
The statistics on pet obesity are quite rotund! Over half of our canine and feline companions are obese. Or, to be specific, about 54 percent of dogs and 59 percent of cats are chubby. That’s a lot of chonkers! Some pets become portly as they age, while others gain weight easily because of genetics. Most of the time, however, diet and exercise (or lack thereof) are the culprits.
Chubby pets may be cute, but obesity is no laughing matter. That extra weight carries some very serious health risks! Some of these include heart disease, respiratory issues, skin problems, bone/joint troubles, and certain cancers. Obesity will also decrease your pet’s life expectancy by up to 2.5 years. Given that we don’t have very much time with pets to begin with, that’s pretty significant.
Dogs and cats are both very, very good at cajoling their humans into handing over snacks and treats, or perhaps putting an extra can of food in their bowl. Pay attention to portion sizes and calorie counts. Even giving Fido or Fluffy ten calories too much every day can cause them to gain a pound a year!
Just as with people, exercise plays a significant role in your pet’s overall weight. With dogs, daily walks and play sessions will go a long way. As for kitties, playing is Fluffy’s favorite workout. Give your feline pal lots of toys, and perhaps some furniture to climb on and explore.
Your furry pal’s doctor is the ultimate authority on whether or not your little buddy is obese. Ask for specific nutritional advice, including serving sizes and feeding frequency. Keep in mind that sudden weight gains can sometimes be indicative of medical issues. Call us right away if you notice fast, drastic changes in your pet’s body condition.
Do you have questions or concerns about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your Norwalk, CA animal clinic, today!