There’s a pretty big pet holiday coming up. October 11th is Pet Obesity Awareness Day! This one is big both literally and figuratively. Obesity is very widespread among our furry friends. According to a 2022 report, about 59 percent of our canine pals and 61 percent of our feline ones were overweight or obese. Those numbers are on the rise: in 2018, the figures were 56 and 60 percent, respectively. That’s a lot of chubby pets! And while Fido and Fluffy may look adorable if they’re a bit pudgy, overweight pets can face a slew of health problems. A Bellaire, TX vet offers some insight into pet obesity in this article.
Some of the medical problems associated with obesity include respiratory issues, endocrine and metabolic problems, certain cancers, heart disease, liver and kidney problems, and reproductive issues. Obesity also decreases your furry friend’s life expectancy, and can significantly lower their quality of life. For instance, an obese dog won’t be able to run and play very much. That lack of exercise can itself contribute to a downward spiral of ongoing health problems.
Nutrition isn’t the only thing that plays a role in your pet’s health. Their activity level—or in some cases, inactivity levels—also factor in. Puppies and kittens tend to be very frisky and playful, but slow down as they age. Many dogs and cats will morph into furry couch potatoes if given the chance. With dogs, you’ll want to consult your vet to determine the exact type and amount of daily exercise your canine pal needs. As for kitties, keep them active by offering lots of toys, and taking time for daily play sessions. Fluffy should also have a few pieces of furniture she can jump and climb, such as a cat tower.
A good diet is crucial to you furry friend’s health. Nutrition also plays a huge role in determining their weight. Talk to your vet regularly about Fido and Fluffy’s menu, as their needs will change a bit over time. Pay close attention to portion control, and don’t go overboard with fatty treats. (Sorry, Fido: too much bacon just isn’t good for you, buddy.) If you think your pet needs to lose weight, consult your vet and get a solid plan. Slow and steady is key here!
Please contact us with questions about your pet’s diet or weight. As your Bellaire, TX pet hospital, we’re here for you!