dog and cat obesity

Dogs & Cats Obesity: A Common Threat To Our Pets’ Health

Obesity has grown more widespread among pets in recent years. According to the Veterinary Medicine journal, 30-40% of dogs and cats are overweight or obese. This developing issue is directly tied to a combination of high nutritional intake and insufficient energy utilization, which means dogs eat too much and exercise too little.

If your cat or dog has gained weight, the extra weight may be hurting their health. Pets that are overweight or obese are more likely to suffer from severe problems than cats and dogs that are at their appropriate weight. Obese cats and dogs are more prone to suffer from liver disease, arthritis, bladder difficulties, diabetes, and some forms of cancer, just as obesity may cause health problems in humans.

Pets have an active lifestyle that includes running, climbing, and playing. Maintaining a healthy body weight allows dogs and cats to perform at their best in terms of speed, energy, and agility. Learn more about the effects of obesity on cats and dogs, as well as ways to help your pet shed weight and stay healthy.

Is Your Pet Obese or Overweight?

Some pet owners are unaware of their pet’s weight condition or feel their pet is not fat. Obesity can develop or worsen significant conditions that damage your pet’s wellness, even though it appears nice to have an extra-squishy cat or a few extra rolls on a dog.

Obesity is described as a buildup of extra bodily fat. However, just because your cat or dog has a little extra body fat doesn’t imply they’re obese. The optimal weight varies according to the animal’s age, breed, body type, and metabolism.

Consult your veterinarian to see whether your pet is overweight. To evaluate where your pet stands, most veterinarians employ body condition scoring systems, such as the 1-95 point scale (“1” being the thinnest and “95” being obese).

Some symptoms may suggest that your pet is overweight. From above, look down on your pet. Is there a distinct waistline on your pet? Otherwise, she may be overweight. You should run your hands along the animal’s sides. Is it easy to feel the ribs, or do you have to work hard to feel them? Is your pet’s stomach sagging? These are indicators that your pet is overweight.

Risks And Symptoms Of Pet Obesity

Because of unique fat proteins that are secreted and can induce bodily inflammation, your pet’s excess weight might put him at risk for a variety of medical problems. The following are some of the most common illnesses connected with pet obesity:

1. Intervertebral Disc Disease And Osteoarthritis

Excess weight puts additional strain on your pet’s joints and can hasten cartilage degradation, leading to arthritis or back pain. Signs of this condition include difficulties lying down, limping, muscular atrophy, and a loss of enthusiasm for playing.

2. Diabetes And Insulin Resistance Are Two Related Conditions

Excess weight-related inflammation can impair a pet’s ability to handle glucose effectively, leading to diabetes, a potentially fatal illness. Increased thirst and urination, weight loss, clouded eyes, and persistent skin or urine infections are among the symptoms.

3. Kidney Failure

Obesity causes high blood pressure, which can lead to reduced blood circulation to important organs such as the kidneys. Increased thirst, increased urination, dehydration, and weight loss are all symptoms.

4. Cardiovascular And Pulmonary Disease

Excess fat in the chest and belly can put pressure on the heart and lungs, resulting in lower oxygen levels. Increased panting and irregular breathing are symptoms.

5. Cancer Is Number Five

Obese dogs, like overweight humans, are more likely to get some malignancies. Cancer symptoms vary based on the location and kind of tumor, but they might include decreased appetite, discomfort, non-healing wounds, fatigue, and weight loss.

Assisting Pets In Maintaining A Healthy Weight

So, how can you keep your dogs from being obese? To begin, recognize that obesity exists and that it is a concern for companion animals. Recognize that, much like humans, some animals have a rapid metabolism while others burn calories more slowly. Similarly, some dogs can maintain a healthy weight without any help from their owners, whilst others require a strict guard at the food bin.

Second, keep a positive connection with your veterinarian. In addition to providing nutrition advice and helping you spot when your pet is tipping the scales in the wrong direction, he or she can help you determine the ideal weight for your dog or cat.

In terms of feeding, both dogs and cats should be fed a predetermined amount of food each day (i.e., don’t keep replenishing the dish). This not only prevents your pet from overeating but also allows you to closely monitor his intake and detect appetite changes, which are an essential indicator of disease. Your veterinarian may suggest to you the amount of food your pet should consume daily.

This form of feeding is critical in a multi-cat home. It takes some time, but you can understand your cats’ habits and food requirements. Because cats might acquire serious liver illness if they do not consume enough calories, you could separate your high-energy cats from your lower-energy kittens.

Third, don’t feed people food to your pets, and only sometimes give them treats. Don’t go overboard when rewarding your pets for good behavior or mixing up their food. I like to underline how eating is not the same as love. Treats are a great way to show your pet you care, but so do walks, playtime, petting, and quiet time alone.

Weight Control in Dogs and Cats

Pet owners must feed their animals a balanced diet low in carbohydrates to properly maintain their pets’ weight. Additionally, keep in mind that the serving sizes listed on pet food packaging are merely general recommendations. Ask your veterinarian to prescribe a portion size and meal plan based on your pet’s specific requirements if you are worried about their weight. Don’t give your pet human food, and don’t give it too many rewards. The most important thing is to maintain consistency with a balanced food and exercise program tailored to the age, breed, and activity level of your pet.

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