Pet Weight Management Tips
The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention revealed recently that 44% of our dogs and 57% of our cats are overweight or obese.Obesity has been found to amplify pre-existing conditions and complicate treatments for these conditions.
As with humans, the risk of diabetes, respiratory and heart conditions, skin problems and arthritis all increase and become more complicated with obesity.We are learning, though, that obesity is an endocrine (hormonal) condition in and of itself, resulting in its difficulty for owners and veterinarians to reverse once an overweight condition has started.
The important thing to also understand is that obesity doesn’t result from just eating too much or the wrong things.This is a condition that has numerous factors contributing to it and no single solution.We do need to understand and realize the severity of this condition, because a few extra pounds to a dog or cat are similar to a person being 30-50 pounds overweight.
Owner excuses for overweight pets include a misperception of the amount eaten daily, stories of constant hunger, passing blame onto others, disinterest in exercise and thoughts of complacency with being “fat and happy.”
from Pet Obesity: A Huge Problem
Veterinary Practice News, April 2009
The recommended food amounts commonly found on animal food labels is often more than a pet needs. These guidelines generally only apply to highly athletic and intact animals.
Many people have misconceptions about what a fit dog looks like. During your next appointment, ask the doctor to give your pet a body condition score and target weight.
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