Obese Pets: Why It Can Be Dangerous

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December 7, 2014
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All the pets I’ve had have been a little chubby. Some had a layer that covered their ribs and others had a belly. When one of my cats gained weight over the summer from being lazy but still eating the same amount of food and cleaning up his sister’s bowl too, I put him on a diet. He protested everyday. I fed them in separate parts of the kitchen. It was a little bit of a hassle for me but it helped him slim down. Still, he hated it. But a trimmer cat can mean a healthier cat.

Obesity is defined as excess body fat in pets which impair health and body functions. 10 to 20% of weight that exceeds their ideal body weight is considered overweigh. Pets that have more than 20% of weight above their ideal are considered obese.

Obese pets have a greater chance of problems like arthritis and back problems, as well as a weaker immune system. They also have a greater chance of developing diabetes, liver disease, and cats are at a greater risk of having urinary tract problems, skin problems, and greater sensitivity to weather due to their weight. Many pets that are overweight also have a shorter life span which can be heart breaking.

Figuring out if your pet is overweight or obese is more than just weighing him. It also depends on your pet’s body build and condition. I’ve had cats that were petite and weighed only 5 lbs and others that were healthy at 13 lbs. The body condition of your pet takes into consideration the weight, height, and proportions of body muscle and fat. Your vet can help you determine what would be an ideal weight for your pet. Once you know what your pet’s weight should be, monitoring their intake, exercise, and overall health can help you know how to best take care of them.

The weather is starting to cool down. Your dog might be a little more energetic now and your cat might not be sleeping in the cold bathtub anymore. This means more playtime and longer walks. Take longer walks in the evenings with your dog and see if you can get your cat to start chasing that catnip mouse around the house again. A thinner pet can mean a healthier, longer living pet!

What do you do to exercise your pet?

Image from Reddit.com

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