A Guide To Pet Obesity
Obesity doesn’t just affect humans; it is also common in pets. Just as the condition can be debilitating for people who suffer from it, so too can it affect the quality of life for your pet.
Here we look at everything you need to know about pet obesity and how to overcome it.
Pet obesity is defined as an excess of body fat which can affect your animal’s health, welfare and quality of life.
Just as obesity in humans is usually defined as being 20-25% above the perfect body weight, it’s often the same in pets. If you believe your animal is suffering from obesity then it’s important to come up with a solution to combat this.
What causes obesity in pets?
Pet obesity can affect animals of all shapes and sizes and is often caused by eating too much or not exercising enough. In rare cases, disease can cause obesity in animals – an in-depth medical check will be required to diagnose this cause.
Certain breeds of animal are also more likely to suffer from obesity than others with neutered dogs and females also at higher risk of becoming obese. Age can also play an important role as the older the animal is the less likely they are to exercise and the more likely they are to put on weight.
What does obesity do to your animal?
Obesity in animals can cause a great deal of unnecessary suffering and if left unattended excess body fat can become a disabling factor for many animals.
Medical conditions including heart disease, diabetes, cancers, respiratory distress and high blood pressure are all linked to obesity but thankfully it’s a preventable problem.
How can pet obesity be prevented/treated?
In order to prevent obesity in pets, there are a number of factors to consider. Some of the signs of obesity can be diagnosed by just looking at the animal. For example, when viewing your pet from the side, their belly should appear tucked up; your pet’s waist should also be visible from above.
If your animal has too much fat, you won’t be able to see and feel the outline of their waist or ribs which could suggest the animal has areas of excess fat.
If you’re worried that your pet is showing the first signs of obesity, it’s important to consult your vet. He or she will be able to advise on a weight reduction programme which will involve a dietary and exercise plan.
Your pet will also undergo a full medical check if necessary, which will indicate exactly what’s causing the obesity. The most important thing to remember is to act quickly and to avoid spoiling your pet with too many treats – it may be hard to ignore those puppy dog eyes in the short-term but by doing so you could actually be offering them long-term happiness and health.