Did you know that Pet Obesity Day is October 13th? We’re guessing probably not. It’s definitely not a federal holiday. Of course, if you were to tell your little buddy about the occasion, you probably wouldn’t get much of a reaction. It’s also safe to assume that if your furry friend did know, it probably wouldn’t keep them from begging for snacks. However, obesity is a serious topic. It can put your pet at risk of some very serious health issues. A local New Orleans, LA vet offers some insight on this topic below.
The statistics on pet obesity are quite sobering. Well over half of America’s pet dogs and cats are overweight or obese. That’s a lot of chunky kitties and pooches! Of course, it isn’t hard to figure out why there are so many chubby pets out there. Many people like to pamper their pets with food. Our animal companions are very, very good at pulling our heartstrings, and getting us to share our food or offer them tidbits!
Extra pounds carry many of the same risks for pets as it does for people. If your animal companion is overweight or obese, they are at increased risk of developing some very serious health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, bone/joint issues, skin trouble, reproductive issues, and liver/kidney trouble. Pets that are overweight are also at increased risk of developing complications from surgery or anesthesia, and often have trouble reproducing. That all adds up to a high price to pay for some extra snacks!
One key thing about pet obesity? The owner is always in charge here. Fido and Fluffy can’t exactly pop themselves open a can of food, or order a dinner delivery. You may need to steel yourself against your animal companion’s theatrics. Don’t let your furry friend manipulate you into overfeeding them! Follow your vet’s recommendations for feeding, including tips on portion sizes and suitable snacks. Activity levels also play a role. For dogs, we usually would recommend daily walks and play sessions. Of course, every pooch is different, so you’ll want to ask your vet for specific advice. As for cats, providing lots of toys and playtime is your best bet.
Please reach out if ever we can be of assistance. As your local New Orleans, LA animal clinic, we are here to help!