Obesity

What is Obesity?

Obesity is excess fat and body weight on your pet. This is a common problem with family pets. 52.6% of dogs and 57.6% of cats in the United States are overweight. Similar to humans there are many health risks and diseases that can be attributed to obesity such as:

  • Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heart and Respiratory Disease
  • Cruciate Ligament Injury

  • Kidney Disease
  • Cancer
  • Decreased Life Expectancy

How did my pet become obese?

Overeating at home is the first factor that should be assessed when questioning if the pet has weight issues. Talk to your family to determine what your pet is eating, how much, and how often. Oftentimes you will determine that two family members are feeding your pet, someone is sneaking extra snacks, table scraps, or maybe you are not measuring your pets food. The next question that you should ask your family members is how much exercise is your pet getting? Are you taking your pet on regular walks? Discuss your pet’s overall diet and exercise with your veterinarian to develop a plan for your pet. Just like us, diet and exercise can be a difficult habit to develop in our pets.

What are the symptoms?

Fat tissue can be linked to inflammation and can put stress on other body systems. Since obesity can be linked to so many other diseases you may notice a variety of symptoms in your pet such as:

  • Lack of energy
  • Panting
  • Increased drinking / urinating

  • Increased begging
  • Difficulty getting up
  • Inability to walk for long distances

Obesity

What is Obesity?

Obesity is excess fat and body weight on your pet. This is a common problem with family pets. 52.6% of dogs and 57.6% of cats in the United States are overweight. Similar to humans there are many health risks and diseases that can be attributed to obesity such as:

  • Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heart and Respiratory Disease
  • Cruciate Ligament Injury
  • Kidney Disease
  • Cancer
  • Decreased Life Expectancy

How did my pet become obese?

Overeating at home is the first factor that should be assessed when questioning if the pet has weight issues. Talk to your family to determine what your pet is eating, how much, and how often. Oftentimes you will determine that two family members are feeding your pet, someone is sneaking extra snacks, table scraps, or maybe you are not measuring your pets food. The next question that you should ask your family members is how much exercise is your pet getting? Are you taking your pet on regular walks? Discuss your pet’s overall diet and exercise with your veterinarian to develop a plan for your pet. Just like us, diet and exercise can be a difficult habit to develop in our pets.

What are the symptoms?

Fat tissue can be linked to inflammation and can put stress on other body systems. Since obesity can be linked to so many other diseases you may notice a variety of symptoms in your pet such as:

  • Lack of energy
  • Panting
  • Increased drinking / urinating
  • Increased begging
  • Difficulty getting up
  • Inability to walk for long distances

How does your veterinarian diagnose obesity?

Your veterinarian uses a body condition scoring chart to determine your pets body score. The chart below demonstrates how your pet will be charted and is based on recommendations by the American Animal Hospital Association.

Prognosis

With proper diet and exercise your pet can go on to live a healthy life. You may be able to revert some diseases with diet and exercise and eliminate some of your pet’s medication.

Treatment Expectations

Knowledge about the effects of obesity on your pet is a great start to curing your pet. Setting up a diet plan with your veterinarian that includes a diet dog food such as W/D from Hills Pet Nutrition, which is high in fiber to help your pet feel full, or a reduction in their current diet. Performing wellness blood work every year is a great way to determine if your pet’s overall health is improving. Periodic visits to the Veterinary Hospital for weight checks will help in monitoring the effectiveness of the diet.

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