Obesity in dogs and cats has become more common than you may think. Obesity is a nutritional disease which is defined by an excess of body fat. Dogs and cats that are over nourished, lack the ability to exercise, or that have a tendency to retain weight are the most at risk for becoming obese. Obesity can lead to your animal developing major health problems, for instance diabetes, bone and joint disorders, as well as the organs responsible for breathing can become affected if an animal becomes obese.
There are many ways to help an animal who is obese to lose weight. Foods that are rich in dietary protein and fiber are recommended for weight loss. There are several prescription weight loss foods, while most over the counter products are maintenance foods (they prevent weight gain rather than promote weight loss). Giving a weight loss food to your animal stimulates their metabolism along with giving the pet a feeling of fullness so they are not going back to the food bowl right after they just ate. Increasing your dog or cat’s activity level is also very important for weight loss. Walking your dog for 15 minutes every day is a great way to start getting them into successful weight loss habit.
If your pet is overweight make an appointment with your veterinarian. This is a medical disease and your veterinarian can help you resolve it. It just takes one call!
By: Melissa Hession, Clinical Assistant at Alley Cat Small Animal Hospital