Manage your pet’s weight before it’s too late
More than 40% of cats and dogs worldwide are overweight, and yet only a small percentage is treated Pets are more prone to experience obesity. It is because often, pet parents mix love for their pets with their pet’s feeding habits.
Pets deserve to be loved and adored, but love should not interfere with their dietary habits. If your pet is overweight, their lifespan will be shortened, their chances of contracting certain diseases will be increased and overall, the quality of life will also be reduced.
Only 13% of dog pet parents, 11% of cat pet parents go to the vet for a weight evaluation. With a healthy and accurate body weight, your dog or cat has the better chance at living longer and healthier life.
Gain will cause pain!
Excess of anything is bad. It applies to the pet’s weight as well. Obesity can lead to many serious health conditions as follows –
- Joint problems and pain (most common being osteoarthritis)
- Intolerance of exercise
- Liver diseases – fatty liver
- The risk of anesthesia increases which implies that the pet can have an allergic reaction to anesthesia
- Heart problems
- Endocrine diseases such as diabetes
- Heat intolerance
- Skin allergies
Along with these conditions, there are certain disorders such as heart disease and cancer that can occur in overweight pets. All these conditions will impact the lifespan of your pet.
Hence, as pet parent, it is imperative to understand the ideal weight for your pet. Ideal weight is not the same for all and varies according to their age and breed.
Ways to prevent obnoxious obesity
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Diet is the most effective way to maintain weight. Calorie intake should be taken into consideration when planning the diet for your furry companion. When provided a nutritious diet according to their calorie intake having all the components of a balanced diet, then, the chance of gaining excessive weight reduces. An ideal diet will include protein, fats, carbohydrates along with vitamins and minerals.
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Satiety is the weight management diet backed-up with the most scientific – evidence to supports safe weight loss and helps avoid weight regain. 97% of dogs lost weight over a 3-month period as it promotes satiety, reducing voluntary energy intake and begging behavior. Supplements of vitamins should be given only when instructed by the veterinarian incase of any deficiency. Inclusion of all these in the diet will ensure that dogs get the nutrition they need to be fit and healthy. Along with diet, keep in mind to avoid giving leftovers to your pet every now and then to ensure that he doesn’t gain weight.
Treats should be given but in a regulated amount. Daily exercising in the form of walking or playtime is a necessity for pets. Pet parents should track their pet’s weight regularly. Food meant for humans should not be given to pets. A routine checkup by a veterinarian is a must. Gaining weight is easy but losing weight is what takes time and effort. Excess weight can be life-threatening for pets. To ensure the long life of one’s favorite pet, weight management using these measures is a must.
(Dr. Dheeraj Bharadwaj, BVSc & AH (Hisar), MS (Australia) is founder Apollo Vets, Dwarka)