Is your pet a little chunky? National Pet Obesity Day is on the second Wednesday in October. So put October 8th on your calendar!
Is your furry friend, shall we say, a little fluffy? A little round around the edges? What I mean to ask is, can your animal stand to lose some weight? If so, it is not alone! Just like humans, there is also a rise in the number of pets suffering from obesity. Obesity is a nutritional disease which is defined by having excess, or too much, body fat. This weight gain can happen for several reasons, including:
- Lack of exercise
- Tendency to retain weight (This, by the way, might be out of your and your pet’s control.)
Obesity can have some pretty serious health effects, even if it’s only a moderate case. Being overweight can result in a shortened lifespan and pain in the bones and/or joints. It can also cause digestive problems. The extra body weight affects how well the digestive organs work. Other organs can be affected as well, including those responsible for breathing. More weight causes more strain on all of the respiratory organs, and it means that those parts have to work harder. That’s some pretty serious stuff!
Most cases of obesity are diagnosed at annual check-ups and are treatable. Pet obesity treatment is usually focused on losing the extra body fat and then maintaining a healthy weight. This usually happens by lowering your pet’s calorie intake (how much it eats, and how healthy its food is), and upping the energy level (going for more walks that are longer). Your veterinarian will be able to recommend your animal’s new diet, and may want you to switch the food brand. Maintaining a healthy weight will help increase your pet’s lifespan, and make it more comfortable in older age. That’s a healthy combination for all of us!
Was your pet obese? How did you get it to slim down? Give us your tips in the comment section!