Pet Obesity Awareness Day is October 9th. There certainly are a lot of chubby pets out there! The obesity rates for American pets are actually quite staggering. A 2016 study showed that 59% of cats and 54% of dogs are obese. Yikes! In this article, a McHenry, IL vet discusses pet obesity.
Many people like to spoil their furry friends with food. Unfortunately, those extra pounds can put pets at risk of developing some very serious health issues, such as heart disease, liver and kidney issues, respiratory problems, bone/joint issues, skin trouble, and reproductive issues, to name just a few. Obese pets are also at higher risk of having complications after surgery, and are more likely to develop certain cancers. All in all, obesity can reduce your beloved pet’s life expectancy by five years or even longer!
Is Your Furball A Butterball?
In some cases, it’s very easy to tell if a pet is overweight or obese. If your dog is round, there’s a good chance that Fido is on the pudgy side. However, it can be harder to tell with pets that have long fur. Your vet will be able to provide professional feedback on this. However, here’s a quick test: try to feel your four-legged pal’s ribs. Ideally, you should feel them beneath thin layer of fat and muscle. If you can barely feel them, or can’t feel them at all, well, you probably have a chonker on your hands.
There probably aren’t going to be any major surprises when it comes to keeping your pet at a healthy weight. Providing a good diet is first and foremost. Give your four-legged friend a good, high quality food, and offer appropriate portion sizes. Go by your vet’s recommendations, not your cat’s plaintive meows or your dog’s sad-puppy act. Treats are another factor here. It’s fine to give your pet a snack, but don’t go overboard! Keeping your furry buddy active is also important. For dogs, that usually means taking Fido on a least one daily walk. To keep a kitty in shape, offer her furniture that encourages her to jump and climb. Playtime is also beneficial for both Fluffy and Fido. Even just a few minutes of running and jumping will help.
Please contact us, your McHenry, IL vet clinic, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!