Obesity in Our Pets
Has your dog or cat experienced the “COVID 15” like many of us humans have? Many pets have gained weight during this pandemic/stay at home time. Results from the National Pet Obesity Survey done by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention showed that over 50% of dogs and cats in the United States, equaling a staggering 80 million pets, are either overweight or obese! Just like humans, the overweight pet has many added stresses on his body and can put him at an increased risk to develop diabetes, hypertension, liver problems, certain cancers and joint pain.
So how can you tell if your dog or cat is truly overweight or not? A good guideline is to look at their body, both in profile and from above. An animal with a healthy, ideal body weight should have a noticeable “waist” when looked at from above and an abdominal “tuck” when viewed from the side. You should be able to feel ribs fairly easily without having to press too hard.
Since overweight animals consume more calories per day than their body needs, if you feel your pet fails to meet the ideal body conditions outlined above, talk to your veterinarian about proper diet modification. Together, you and your vet will determine a diet that will continue to provide proper, complete nutrition during weight loss and then maintenance. In addition to diet modification, providing more exercise for your pet is crucial. For dogs this means walking at least 30 minutes a day and for cats, this means more time playing with toys or chasing a laser pen light. Finally, change also needs to start with you, their owner. You have to be committed to their healthier, fit lifestyle and this means just saying “no” to those sweet, pleading eyes begging for just one more treat. Instead of treats, opt for other forms of attention to show your pet you love them.
Cinema Veterinary Centre is located at 23460 Cinema Drive, suite L in Valencia 91355, (661) 253-9300.
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