Pet Obesity: The Dangers

Posted on Wed, Aug 05 2015

 

    Obesity can easily plague our cats and dogs but it is also easily prevented and/or treated. According to some studies, at least 35% of cats and dogs are overweight. Health risks associated with being overweight or obese include:

    Your veterinary health care team can give your pet a Body Condition Score (BCS) to determine each individual pet’s status: under weight, ideal weight, overweight.

 

Treatment and Prevention

    Always have your pet examined by your veterinarian before beginning a dietary plan. Your veterinary health care team can customize a weight loss plan specific for your pet’s needs. Simple approaches to weight loss can be tried at home. First, determine your pet’s current weight, BCS, and amount of weight loss or gain desired. Second, feed a measured amount of food consistently each day including meals, treats, and “table scraps”.  We recommend discontinuing “table scraps” for their general lack of nutritional value. A measured meal means a set amount of calories per day. Depending on your pet’s BCS, there are a specific number of calories to add, subtract, or maintain. Remember to be consistent and measure each day accurately. Eight ounce measuring cups are inexpensive compared to your pet’s overall health. A third point is to consider your pet’s activity levels. Consult your veterinarian to outline an exercise plan with your pet’s needs. Fourth recommendation is that treats should constitute less than 10% of daily calorie intake. Once your pet has reached an ideal weight, health risks decrease and management or prevention of diseases becomes easier.  Always consult with your veterinarian about any weight loss plan and exercise regimen because the health of your pet is first and foremost important.

 

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