Obesity in pets has become an epidemic
A high percentage of dogs and cats are overweight. This is similar to the epidemic we are seeing in human obesity.
How do we know when our pet is overweight? I’ve said this before but it bears repeating. You should monitor your pet’s weight by feeling its rib cage. There should be a thin layer of fat between the skin and ribs. If you can’t feel the ribs, then your pet is overweight. If you easily feel the ribs, then your pet is probably underweight.
This little procedure should be performed periodically. You may be following the directions on the pet food label. But this is general information. Your pet’s food requirements may vary depending upon the exercise it gets, the breed, its stage of life, the number of treats it eats, and the type of food you are feeding.
Of course, you can take your pet to the veterinarian each week to be weighed, but this may be inconvenient. For a small pet you can use a home scale to weight yourself and then weigh yourself while holding the pet. This can be rather difficult if you own a Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, or a German Shepherd.
I read a recent article entitled, “Obese pets: Vets say more than half of dogs, cats are overweight” by Marla Dickerson.
This article does a great job in pointing out who is really to blame for obesity in pets. Here is a quote:
America’s obesity crisis is spreading – to our pets.
About 53% of the nation’s cats and 55% of dogs are overweight. And more than one in five of those fat animals is clinically obese, meaning at least 30% above normal weight.
That’s the, um, skinny from a study released this week by the Assn. for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP).
While you’re getting your head around the fact that this country boasts an organization dedicated to chunky pets, consider this: All that flab on Fluffy and Fido can cost you plenty.
That’s because fat cats and dogs are much more likely to end up with expensive health problems, according to Dr. Ernie Ward, a North Carolina veterinarian and founder of APOP.
Ms. Dickerson goes on to say:
Think love handles on your Pomeranian are cute? Every excess pound on a dog that small would equate to a 5-foot, 4-inch woman gaining 21 pounds, or a 5-foot-9 man putting 25 pounds of extra junk in his trunk, according to APOP.
The complete article can be read here.
Obesity in pets is not caused by the pet
It doesn’t know how much it should eat. It only eats what the owner puts in from of it. It doesn’t know how much exercise it should get each day. The owner is completely in control of this situation.
What is your experience with obesity in pets? How do you make sure your pet maintains an ideal weight? Do you feed the best quality dog food for weight loss? Thanks for your comments.