As of October 2019 it’s estimated that half of all domestic dogs and cats are clinically overweight. That’s 49 million dogs, and more than 50 million cats! Obesity is one of the most common nutritional diseases in dogs and cats. The best treatment is prevention, but it’s also never too late to fix it.
According to most studies, obesity can lead to reduced life expectancy, diminished quality of life, chronic inflammation, orthopedic disease, kidney dysfunction, cancers, urinary issues, and more! Excess weight in pets can decrease a pet’s life span by up to 2.5 years!
How do you know if your pet is overweight or obese? If you’re unsure of your pet’s ideal weight try this simple exercise:
- Place your hands on your pets ribcage with your thumbs on it’s back
- If you feel the ribs easily, your pet is considered to be normal weight
- If you can feel fat between the skin and ribs or the ribs are hard to feel, your pet is overweight
- If you can’t feel the ribs, your pet is definitely obese
You can also use a body score chart like this:
If your pet is overweight, there are painless methods to help your pet lose those unhealthy pounds.
A visit with your veterinarian can determine if the weight is due to an underlying medical condition, what your pet’s ideal weight is, and a healthy weight loss plan for them. Your veterinarian can prescribe a diet formulation such as Hill’s Metabolic Diet that will help make dieting easy for you and your pet. Combining that with routine walks, and playtime can definitely help your pet lose those extra pounds. Call us today to discuss a weight loss plan for your pet.