We all get it, when we are enjoying our delicious food our pet will just stare at us while eat. In feeling uncomfortable and some slight guilt we give in and feed them table food. The problem with most of these situations that we are doing more harm than we realize. Statistics show that more than half of US dogs are overweight or obese, and that number keeps growing every year. If we continue these harmful habits our pet will start to get overweight/obese, cause other health issues, and that number will keep rising. Here are some secondary health issues that can develop over time by your pet being overweight.
Long term effects:
Joint problems- Caring all the weight around really does put some pressure and stress on their joints causing early stages of arthritis. Glucosamine will help but will only go so far, the best thing would be to just have your pet lose some weight with a strict diets and eating habits.
Diabetes- Just like us in human’s obesity can also cause diabetes for our pets, fat cells secrete hormones and chemical messengers that promote inflammation. Obesity is a chronic pro-inflammatory state that contributes to risk factors for both pancreatitis and diabetes.
Heart Disease- Overweight pets will tend to get high blood pressure (hypertension) causing their hearts to work more than it should increasing the chances of heart failure (Cardiac Arrest).
Liver Problem- The liver also stores fat, so when your pet is overweight/obese the amount of fat increases in the liver and causing decreased liver function. This is known as Hepatic Lipidosis
Difficulty Breathing/Decreased Stamina- The excess fat in the chest cavity restricts the lungs to properly expand causing them not to function properly and cause labored breathing. Excess fat will also build up around the abdominal area which come in play with the diaphragm of the pet also causing labored breathing. With all of this it will decrease the stamina of the pet, carrying around that extra weight makes the heart, muscles, and respiratory system work more than usual.
How to work on shaving off some weight
If your pet is overweight or obese we would highly encourage you to take action in making a healthy positive change for your pet into improving their health. The first course of action would be to visit your local vet, because at least here at Caring Hands Animal Hospital we consult with our clients with overweight pets about diets and to do diagnostics.
Scheduled Feeding Times– Scheduling your pets meal 2-3 times a day (different pets vary) can help make a difference in your pets weight.
Prescription Food– We have many high quality prescription foods that vary in function such as urinary diets, liver care, weight management and much more. Food that we carry are Royal Canin, Hills Prescription Diet, and Blue Natural.
Healthy Treats– You can still feed your pet treats but let’s just be a little more conscious about what we’re feeding them and give them healthy treats. There are usually prescription weight management treats for your pet. We also have another article where we talk about safe foods for your pet, you can refer to that to get an idea what you can feed them.
Exercise Plan– With your pet eating healthy now it’s time to have them burn that fat and start having them get active. Increasing the distant of a walk will help, also taking them to a confined dog park and having them run and play with their other four legged friends.
Veterinarian Consultation– We would highly recommend for you to consult with your veterinarian doctor to help guide you through the process. Another main reason why a consult is recommended is for those who want to be proactive and do preventative diagnostics such as blood work and urinalysis. This is to check your pet’s glucose levels to detect signs of diabetes, check liver values to make sure it is functioning properly, and will check other important values.