A lot of pets are overweight or even obese.
A lot of pet owners may not recognise that their pet is overweight.
To recognise if your pet if your pet is overweight, try running your hands over the dog or cat’s chest and you should be able to just feel the ribs. Look down on your pet and you should see the curve of a waist line or from side on you should see a waist line between the belly and the back leg.
Obesity is a serious health problem for pet dogs and cats.
Some pets are given this disease (obesity) through love. Pet owners associate feeding with love for their pet.
Pets become overweight and obese when they are offered too much food.
The consequences of obesity in dogs and cats are increased risk of chronic health problems like diabetes , certain cancers and arthritis.
Obese dogs and cats are uncomfortable, they cannot exercise as much as dogs of normal weight, they pant a lot and get skin irritations.
To prevent obesity in pets, learn how to feed your pet properly. Pet obesity is a disorder of human behaviour.
Dogs do more easily gain weight after desexing, but this weight can be controlled by not overfeeding dogs.
Hormonal diseases, in particular low thyroid function and cushing’s disease ( a disease of the adrenal glands which causes the body to make too much cortisone) contribute to obesity.
Most overweight dogs, are simply overweight because they have consumed too many calories.
Cats in the wild eat many small meals throughout the day and night and spend a lot of time and energy sourcing these meals. If you can simulate this kind of feeding behaviour for your indoor cat, it is likely to be happier and healthier. It will make your cat exercise more and stimulate your cat more, hopefully preventing any anxiety related health problems as well.
Some examples are to; try and hide the cat’s meal so they spend time hunting it out, toss kibble so they have to chase after it, or make a puzzle feeder from a cardboard box so the cat paws the food out.
There a many calorie restricted diets on the market for cats and dogs, which are great, as long as this is all they are getting. Adding left overs or treats to the diet, significantly increases the daily calorie intake.
Another idea to help your pet loose weight is the get a smaller bowl. Most owners tend to fill the bowl, so if it is smaller, you will naturally give the pet less food!
Exercise is great, it burns calories and makes pets happy, but pets will not lose weight with increased exercise only, they need the calorie restriction as well.