One of today’s most common veterinary medical problems in household pets is obesity. A survey conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention found that 53% of adult dogs and 55% of cats were classified as overweight or obese by their veterinarians. What was even more disturbing was that many pet owners were unaware of their furred family member’s weight problem.
Much like in humans, obesity has been found responsible for a host of pet health conditions, including osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, breathing problems, kidney and heart disease, and shortened life expectancy. Studies have shown that obesity can shorten a pet’s life span by as much as two years and it is also responsible for the onset of arthritis two years sooner than a normal weight pet. Overweight pets are also at greater risk during surgery and are more prone to painful and expensive injuries. Senior pets are particularly susceptible to excessive weight gain due to the natural slowing of their metabolism. Obesity can also worsen already painful conditions such as arthritis and degenerative joint conditions, causing a vicious cycle of inactivity due to pain, which leads to more weight gain.
Obesity Is Preventable
Proper nutrition and regular exercise are essential for maintaining a healthy weight for your pet. At ZimmVet, our approach begins by determining your pet’s body condition score. Based on that score and each patient’s individual needs, a weight management program is developed that may include a prescription diet, exercise recommendations, and instruction on the roll that snacks and treats play in a pet’s dietary requirements.
How to tell if your dog is overweight: To help you determine if your canine comrade needs to lose a few pounds, read the informative article What is Average Dog Weight? from Purina®.
How to tell if your cat is overweight: To help you determine if your feline friend needs to lose a few pounds, read What is Average Cat Weight? from Purina’s website.