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Pet obesity isn’t something we often think about. Our cats are supposed to be big and fluffy aren’t they? Some of the cutest dogs waddle around getting neck scratches from owners with the best intentions. The fact is, over 50% of pets in America are obese. This is an incredibly critical issue because pets with obesity are at increased risk for developing serious weight-related disorders such as diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, kidney disease, cancer, and more. So what can you do about an obese pet?
Visit your vet - Many vets are afraid to tell a pet owner that their animal is obese. Many pet owners are offended and feel attacked when told their pet is severely overweight. Understand that your vet is looking out for what’s best for your pet and be understanding and open when discussing your pets weight with your vet.
Feed Properly - There are hundreds of pet foods available and supermarkets and pet stores. Discuss your pets needs with your vet and then purchase the proper type of food and feed the proper amounts in order for your pet to maintain a healthy weight and level of activity. Not all foods are equal and you may need a special diet that caters to allergies, the pet’s age or other medical conditions.
Exercise! - Pets love to play, and playing is a key factor in avoiding obesity and keeping your pets healthy. Dogs should play for at least 30 minutes a day and cats need a good hard 5 minute play session at least 3 times a day. Find times that work for your schedule and create a habit. If your pet is obese, it’s best to consult your vet on a healthy way to knock off the pounds to avoid putting too much stress on the animal.
Although we may think our pets will love us more with every bowl of ice cream after dinner, but the truth is, your pets love you unconditionally and count on you to feed and care for them properly. Allowing your pets to become obese puts them at higher risk for disease and health problems. Properly caring for your pets will give them a longer, happier life to spend with you.
If you think your pet is has a weight problem, contact Old Dominion Veterinary Clinic today and make an appoint for your pet to have a checkup.