Obesity is no longer simply a health concern for humans. Unfortunately, pet obesity is on the rise.
According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), as of 2017, 56% of dogs and 60% of cats were classified as clinically overweight or obese by their veterinary healthcare professional.
If you suspect your pet is an unhealthy weight, it’s time to learn more and possibly schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to discuss your options.
Find out some the basics of pet obesity today.
Recognizing Pet Obesity
- First, be sure you’re taking note of your pet’s weight at each of their vet appointments. Generally, most pets are seen once per year for a general health checkup.
- Next, visually take note if you start to realize your pet is appearing heavier. Is their stomach protruding more than normal? Is your cat’s tummy hanging on the ground when they walk? These may be signs of a more serious health condition if so, so it’s important to keep an eye on your pet’s weight gain.
- Watch for warning signs such as excessive painting, lameness, limping, and decreased activity. These may all be signs of an overweight pet, or a pet that is struggling with an undiagnosed health issue that has led to their weight gain.
How to Combat Pet Obesity
- First and foremost, be sure you’re exercising your pet regularly! We understand that it can be a challenge to find time to take your dog for a walk every day but it’s important. Add a note to your calendar each month so you know it needs to be incorporated into your schedule consistently. You’ll be less likely to forget if you leave yourself reminders!
- Your pets should be exercise approximately 30 minutes per day, at least every other day. This may be a walk, throwing them a ball, or playing with a new toy!
- Research new exercises that you can do with your pet to keep exercise fun and enjoyable! Consider taking your dog for a swim at the local lake during the summer, or hiking a new trail during fall time. There are plenty of DIY cat toy ideas on Pinterest to try as well.
“Clinical obesity results in more secondary conditions such as arthritis, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and certain forms of cancer. Pets with obesity also have reduced quality of life and shorter life expectancy.” - APOP Founder, veterinarian Dr. Ernie Ward
Learn More Online Today!
Explore these fantastic resources for additional information on pet obesity!
- “Walking Your Dog for Weight Loss”
- “Better Pet Fitness in 4 Steps”
- “The 5 Biggest Questions You Should Ask About Pet Obesity”
Become Better Informed About Pet Obesity Today
Give our office a call and we would love to provide you with the information you need to keep your dog or cat as healthy as possible. You can call us at (207) 453-7387, swing by our office in Fairfield or shoot us an email at email@example.com.
Remember, regularly scheduled wellness exams are vital to maintaining your pet's overall health!