Posted by Lora Shaw on March 16, 2017
You’ve probably heard about the human obesity epidemic, but did you also know there’s a pet obesity epidemic? Unfortunately, the U.S. is experiencing a growing problem with overweight pets. Today, an estimated 52.7% of pooches are too pudgy, and 57.9% of felines are fat. While this may not seem like cause for concern, there are plenty of problems associated with pet obesity including:
A number of studies support the notion that when animals eat less, they live longer. For instance, researchers studied dogs who received 25% fewer calories than normal. They discovered that not only did those dogs live 2 years longer than the average dog, but they also required fewer medications and were more active in old age.
Arthritis is a very common ailment in pets, especially as they get older. This disease occurs when a joint is unstable, causing bones to move abnormally. In time, those bones begin to rub up against each other, creating a great deal of pain. However, arthritis can be prevented in pets by keeping them at a healthy body weight. This holds true even for those breeds that are more prone to the disease.
While a few extra pounds might not seem like a lot to you, it can be extremely detrimental to your pet—not just for health reasons either. Pets enjoy play and exercise, and extra weight makes it far more difficult for them to engage in fun activities.
Although this may seem like common sense when it comes to dogs, there’s a stereotype that cats are less interested in play. Vet surgeon Sean Wensley says that just isn’t true. He explains, “[With obese] cats, you’ll see they’re reluctant to play and they are unable to enjoy life.”
Diabetes is a serious disease not just for people, but for pets as well. There are many complications associated with diabetes if it’s not kept under control, including: blindness, nerve damage, seizures, liver disease, hyperthyroidism, and cancer. As with the other health problems we mentioned, you can prevent the likelihood of diabetes by keeping your dog or cat at a healthy weight.
Of course that leads to the question, “How can I help my pet stay within a healthy weight range?” We encourage you to ask your vet for assistance on this topic. They will be able to offer nutritional guidelines for your furry friend.
Additionally, we recommend plenty of exercise for your pet. If this is a challenge with your busy schedule, we can help! At Pet Palace, we offer Doggy Day Care which includes playtime and regularly scheduled walks.
About the author
Lora Shaw is currently the Vice President of Operations at Pet Palace.
Categories: Tips for Your Pets