What Is Pet Obesity, And How Can We Prevent It?
A treat here, a crumb there, the crusts on your sandwich- seems innocent when your pet is giving you their puppy dog eyes. How can we say no?
These are actions many pet parents make, unknowingly leading their furry loved ones to gain weight, unhealthy habits, and unhealthy disorders such as obesity.
So What is Pet Obesity?
Pet obesity is excess fat and weight throughout your pet’s body. Pet obesity can be caused by lack of exercise, overfeeding, and potentially underlying problems. In 2018, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) found that 59.9% of cats and 55.8% of dogs are classified as overweight or obese.
Obesity in pets occurs when excessive adipose tissue accumulates in the body and is defined as occurring when an animal’s body weight is at least 20% greater than its optimal body weight.
So, with a disease as common as pet obesity, what’s the problem?
The Risks Associated With Pet Obesity
As pet obesity is a weight-related disorder, there are weight-related, long-term risks associated with excessive fat on their body. This can include arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney diseases, cancers, and more.
As terrifying as these disorders and illnesses can be, preventative measures can be taken to minimize and reduce your furry friends’ risks.
What Can Be Done To Minimize/Prevent Pet Obesity?
Despite the consequences associated with pet obesity, simple steps, starting within the walls of your home, can be done to nip it before it nips your pet.
- Portion Control: Like humans, portion control is essential to ensuring your pet gets the adequate serving size for their weight, age, and activity status. As much as your pet may not enjoy the change in food habits, it’s an essential step in keeping them healthier for longer.
- Increase Your Pets Exercise: Yet again, exercise is just as crucial for your pets as it is for yourself. Try incorporating your pet into your exercise routine or finding alternatives like walking to brunches or parks with your pet when meeting up for pet-friendly social activities. If your pet happens to be a dog, our dog walking services are an excellent alternative for those who may be short on time.
- Monitor Your Fur Baby’s Weight: Keeping track of your pet’s weight loss is essential in finding a routine that works for them. Keep monthly logs to ensure they are maintaining a healthy weight loss for them.
- Talk To Your Vet: Talk to your vet for alternative food choices and weight monitoring if any worries arise. Visiting the vet can also uncover any potential underlying issues in your pet.
- It’s important to remember that your pet is still a creature that feels the stress of a situation like this. As they don’t understand why food is getting restricted, it’s essential to give them lots of love and support during this time. If you find yourself needing help getting your pups up and moving, contact us. We are here to help. Even one walk a day for 30 mins will help your canine companion stay fit and prevent pet obesity.
Is your pet overweight? Consider adding a daily dog walk to their schedule. For more information on our Dog Walking services, please click HERE!