Your dog's nutrition is vital for sustaining a healthy & happy life. Proper nutrition starts with a good diet, plenty of hydration, exercise, and a pet-friendly environment. If you overfeed your dog, give it the wrong type of food, and never take it out for exercise, it can accelerate poor health and a shorter lifespan.
Normandale Veterinary clinic can treat obese animals with health problems. We can also make recommendations on how you can improve your pet’s health and well-being. No matter how obese your dog or cat is, it’s never too late to start a regimented diet and an active lifestyle.
Below we discuss the health risks associated with pet obesity.
What Causes Obesity in Pets?
Obesity is a nutritional disease caused by an excess of fat in the body. Pets that are overnourished, underactive, or retain weight are at-risk of being overweight. Pet owners often feed pets the wrong food including table scraps or human food, treats, pet food high in fats, or food that wasn’t intended for the animal.
Obesity is prevalent in dogs of all ages, but it usually occurs in middle-aged dogs, and generally in those that are between the ages of 5 and 10. Neutered and indoor dogs also tend to have a higher risk of becoming obese.
Pet owners are sensitive to their pet’s desires almost to a fault. In an attempt to show love and attention, the owner feeds the pet too much food. In many cases, the pet owner either responds or fails to respond to the following pet behaviors:
● The pet begs for food.
● The pet cries all night.
● The pet steals food from other pets.
● The pet won’t eat the appropriate food.
● The pet finds a way to eat human food.
When these behaviors are not appropriately addressed, your dog or cat will form an unhealthy eating habit that eventually leads to obesity.
What are the Health Risks of Obesity?
Obesity can result in life-threatening health conditions, such as reducing the lifespan, even if your dog is only moderately obese. Multiple areas of the body are affected by excess body fat, including the bones and joints, the digestive organs, and the organs responsible for breathing capacity. Some health conditions may never be remedied even with a change in diet and exercise.
Additional fat on some dogs and cats can place significant stress on the body. Some of the conditions that can occur as a result of excess weight are:
● Decreased stamina or
● Breathing difficulty
● Heat intolerance
● High blood pressure
● Liver disease
● Surgical complications
● Low immunity
Signs of Poor Health
You may notice that your dog or cat has been putting on more weight. The added pounds causes slow movement and lethargy. Your veterinarian, pet groomer, friends, and family may notice changes in your pet’s behavior or body size.
If you cannot easily feel your dog or cat’s ribs or spine, and the tucked-in waist has thickened considerably enough to give the animal a more tubular shape, it is time for you to consult with your veterinarian about a weight loss regimen for your pet.
Treatment for Obesity
The first step in mitigating health risks is to put your pet on a healthy diet. You need to recognize what is acceptable for your pet what is not. A healthy diet consists of the following:
● A pure kibble diet
● Small amounts of plain cooked meat such as boiled chicken, lamb, tinned sardines, tinned tuna, or tinned salmon in spring water.
● Cooked pumpkin
● Raw grated carrots
Consult with a veterinarian on the proper diet or your breed dog, as each breed may have particular dietary needs.
Pet Care and Treatment in Minneapolis, Minnesota
By keeping your pet healthy, you will improve its lifestyle and prolong its life. Normandale Veterinary Hospital specialists can provide treatment for your pets while providing the necessary treatment to improve health and promote wellness. We offer complete pet care in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
To schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians, call us today at 952-831-8272, or you can message us on our contact page.