Today is Pet Obesity Awareness Day!
Food and treats do not equal love! Too many treats or overfeeding is actually dangerous for our pets. Overweight pets are at risk of developing one or more serious health issues and this is not what any pet owner wants.
These health risks include, arthritis, torn cruciate ligaments, heart disease, reduced lung capacity, poor kidney and liver function, reduced overall activity levels and skin issues. If your pet needs to go under anesthesia for a procedure, they are at a higher risk of complications or death if they are overweight. All of these things can lead to a shortened life span and most people would say our pets already have too short of a lifespan!
They are a few ways to tell if your pet is overweight. If you cannot easily feel their ribs, they don’t have a waist when you look from above or if they do not “tuck” up underneath when you look from the side, they may be overweight. Please refer to the diagram for help with assessing your pet. There are also general breed guidelines available for weight however they must be used with caution as not every pet follows the guidelines for their overall build.
Healthy treats should be given in moderation. If your pet is on a diet, ration the treats from their regular diet. For example, if your pet is to be fed 2 cups of food per day then take some of that amount and put it aside for treats throughout the day. Alternatively, you can reduce the amount of regular food and add in one or two treats of equal caloric value. If you need help in determining the best course of action for your pet’s diet, please do not hesitate to contact us, we would be more than happy to help with diet counselling.
We all want to have healthy and happy pet’s; weight management is an important part of this. We at Alcona Animal Hospital are dedicated to helping owners achieve and maintain a healthy weight for their furry family member.