Does your pet seem to be putting on some weight? While being a few pounds overweight isn’t typically a reason for concern for humans, for a pet, it is. Dogs and cats obviously weigh much less than a full-grown human, so a cat that’s just two pounds overweight is the equivalent of a grown man being 30 pounds overweight. This extra weight can quickly lead to obesity, putting a pet at risk for a number of potentially serious health problems. Over time, excess weight can even shorten their lifespan.
In the U.S., 52% of dogs and 57% of cats are overweight or obese. Yet, despite those statistics, between 90-95% of owners are unable to recognize obesity in their pets. This can be related to the heavy coats of fur that cover some breeds, but more often, it results from owners simply not being sure what an ideal weight or size is for their particular breed. Bayshore Veterinary Hospital in Holmdel wants to help your pet maintain a healthy weight throughout their life by helping you recognize early signs of obesity and understand its significance. Working together, we’ll formulate custom diet and exercise plans, and help you implement necessary changes.
Health Risks of Pet Obesity
Obesity is identified as the #1 health threat to companion animals today, dramatically increasing their risk for:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Joint deterioration
- Heart and respiratory disease
- Cranial cruciate ligament injury
- Kidney disease
- Decreased life expectancy (up to 2.5 years)
How to Treat and Prevent Pet Obesity
All of these statistics and facts on pet obesity can certainly be frightening for a pet owner, especially if your pet is overweight, but keep in mind that obesity CAN be treated. The veterinarians and staff at Bayshore Veterinary Hospital will work with you to tailor a plan of healthy nutrition and exercise that will allow you to still feel that you’re sharing your love, while protecting your pet from the health problems associated with excess weight.
If your pet is already at a healthy weight, we recommend that you continue feeding them a healthy diet in combination with appropriate exercise, remembering that nutritional and exercise guidelines change as your pet ages. We’ll be glad to discuss your pet’s specific “healthy lifestyle” profile during your next visit. Call (732) 671-3110 for a nutrition and exercise consultation for YOUR pet today!