Pet Obesity Prevention
No one wants to be overweight. Sure, it has to do with looks, but what’s more important is the way extra weight feels. Genetics and lifestyle can play significant roles, but for most pets, portion sizes or free-feeding are ultimately responsible for any extra pounds. While it may not be noticeable at first, once pet obesity is obvious, there may be associated health concerns to worry about.
Cause and Effect
Overfeeding a pet is the primary reason for weight gain. Over time, all those extra calories lead to weight gain and pet obesity. Generally speaking, people have grown accustomed to seeing larger pets, with some even amused by a rotund animal. However, considering the major impact obesity has on overall health, it’s worthwhile to invest in a preventive wellness plan that works for you and your companion.
Pain and Suffering
Pet obesity stems from moving around less and less, mostly due to decreased strength, flexibility, and overall mobility. The added pressure on joints is painful, and the constant inflammation associated with joint degeneration perpetuates a cycle of reduced activity and increased weight.
While low-impact exercise helps soothe achy joints, the most effective way to treat arthritis is to slowly lose weight. Starving pets can be extremely dangerous, causing organ failure. We’re happy to help you find the right food for your dieting pet.
Other Facets of Pet Obesity
Diabetes mellitus is commonly diagnosed in obese pets. A chronic disease, diabetes can decrease your pet’s overall quality of life and longevity. However, with weight loss and proper management of insulin, your pet can regain much of his or her previous lifestyle and enjoy many years to come. Left untreated, diabetes can be extremely dangerous and even fatal.
Back to Health
Downsizing your pet’s portions ensures weight loss, but to effectively prevent or combat pet obesity, calories must also be spent. This entails picking up the speed on daily opportunities for physical exertion. After your pet is examined, we may recommend any number of the following activities to shed weight and regain a healthy frame:
- Daily walks for at least 15 minutes
- Playing chase, ball, or fetch (for cats, this means anything that encourages them to tap into their predatory instincts)
- Using interactive toys to keep your pet moving and thinking. Check out our additional packages for boarding – We offer puzzle solving games for cats & dogs and iPad games for cats.
- Installing a cat tree or walk
- Climbing towers
- Working for food using specific feeding toys
- Adopting a play mate (ask us for recommendations since a pet of similar age can be problematic)
- Treadmill exercise
- Grow your own catnip and use fresh cuttings in your cat’s toys to amp up interest and feelings of contentment
- Place your cat in a dry, empty bathtub with a pingpong ball (watch with glee!)
- Peek a Prize Game
There may be additional options for your pet once we determine his or her treatment plan and health goals. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the prevention of pet obesity. The team at Pet Medical Center and Spa is always here for you and your companion!