The second Wednesday of October is Pet Obesity Awareness Day. That’s coming right up on the 10th! More than half of our furry patients are obese. We know, pudgy pets are cute, but those extra pounds can present some very serious health risks! Read on as a Thorold, ON vet discusses pet obesity.
Extra weight puts extra stress on your pet’s body. That can cause or contribute to some very serious health issues, such as heart disease, diabetes, respiratory issues, liver and kidney trouble, and reproductive issues. Pets that are overweight are also at increased risk of developing certain cancers, and often suffer from painful bone/joint conditions, such as arthritis. Obesity can even decrease your beloved pet’s expected lifespan!
As one might expect, diet and exercise are both important factors that help determine your pet’s weight. They aren’t the only two causes, however. Pets sometimes get chubby as they age, or due to illnesses or genetics. If you aren’t sure why your furry pal is getting pudgy, consult your vet.
Our animal companions are, in general, very, very fond of food. Don’t let your little (or not so little) buddy convince you to overfeed him. Even eating just ten extra calories a day can cause Fido and Fluffy to gain a pound a year. That’s a lot for a dog or cat! It’s even more significant for smaller pets, like hamsters or Guinea pigs. It’s also important to choose high-quality food. Many cheaper brands contain lots of fillers, which are often high in fattening carbs. Ask your vet for nutritional recommendations, including serving sizes and suitable treats.
Many of our animal friends are very active and playful when they are little, but steadily slow down as they age. Keep your furry buddy moving with daily play sessions. It’s also important to provide your pet with lots of toys to play with. Cats and pocket pets will benefit from having furniture and/or playthings that encourage them to stay active. This may be a cat tower in Fluffy’s case, or an exercise wheel for a hamster. As for Fido, make sure he is at least getting a daily walk. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Please reach out to us, your Thorold, ON vet clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!