Obesity has proven to be a major crisis and a death ticket to the human species and it is slowly taking toll of our pets too. The statistics of the obese pets is growing at an alarming rate and most owners are to blame. Obesity in humans is said to be brought by changes in lifestyle, diet and neglecting exercises which is apparently the same cause for our pets. Obesity in pets is a dangerous thing since it reduces their lifespan and also brings about other health complication such as liver diseases, heat intolerance, joint problems, diabetes, breathing difficulties, osteoarthritis, and digestive upsets.
Obesity has played part in bringing up such conditions which are not a good thing for the pet and the pet owner since a lot of money will be used up in seeking treatment and also reduces the lifespan of the pet. Treatment towards our pets is given based on their weights, so the heavier the pet the more the medication needed thus the more you incur as a pet owner.
What is the correct weight for my pet?
In humans, obesity is determined by the body mass index which is easier to do since you just need the ratio between the weight and the height. It may be difficult to know your pet is obese while using a similar approach. Generally, it is important to weigh your pets once in a while and keep the records for future references. This could be an effective way of determining whether your pet is obese.
Since there a lot of pet breeds with different body variations just like people, you may also use a simple method to know whether your pet is obese by simply poking the area around the ribs. For a normal and fit pet, you feel the ribs with a gentle press and the ribs don’t have to be visible, but for an obese pet you can’t feel the ribs and generally, they look chubby and heavy.
Can pet owners prevent obesity?
As pet owners, especially for the dogs and cats, visit a veterinary whenever you suspect your pet is obese. The veterinary will advise you according and will give you a custom weight management program for your pet. Before you reach the extent of declaring your pet obese, there is a general phrase “you are killing your pets with kindness”. This is the main reason why pets are getting obese because we are constantly rewarding them with treats for doing nothing. We never measure the amount of food and diet our pets need to consume daily. A lot of pet owners think they are the best caretakers but what they don’t know is they are slowly digging graves for their best friends.
To avoid reaching this extent, reduce the number and frequency you reward your pets and also ensure that you measure the food you give them so that they don’t overfeed. Overfeeding as is experienced in humans it gives the animals a lazy feeling and all they do is sleep all day and adding weight becomes a way of life. Another way of avoiding obesity in your pets is creating time to walk them around and playing with them. They burn a lot of calories which means they will cut weight and doing it frequently will mean they will maintain good health.
The obesity clinic in Tufts is coming up with weight management programs for the pets. They are coming up with a healthy physical program so the pet owners can improve the health of their dogs and cats while still having fun. They also have a website where they give nutrition education and other weight loss strategies to pet owners.