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5 Things to Know about Pet Weight Gain

What to Know about Overweight Pets

By Madeleine Burry. July 10, 2012 | See Comments

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    PetCareRx Staff Veterinarian

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5 Things to Know about Pet Weight Gain

Overweight pets are susceptible to greater health problems. Learn what you need to know about your pet's weight here.

Dismiss any thoughts that it’s cute when Fluffy or Fido gain weight - flabby pets are unhealthy pets. Find out some important facts about the implications of excessive weight as well as treatment options.

1.  Getting Bigger and Bigger

Over half of America’s pet cats and dogs are overweight or obese, according to a yearly survey from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. And, while the rate for overweight pets is holding fairly steady compared to survey information from previous years, the number of obese pets is on the rise. Weight problems are a serious and pervasive issue concern for America’s pets.

2. Tough on Health; Tough on Your Wallet

Excessive weight can lead to all sorts of health problems including diabetes and heart disease. Extra pounds can also cause or aggravate conditions like arthritis. Overweight pets often have trouble moving around and grooming themselves. Weight problems can lead to an uncomfortable lifestyle for your pet, and may even require surgery for associated diseases and conditions. Any weight-related illness is likely to have an impact on your finances as well, since pets may require surgery or pricey medications to treat or maintain their standard of living.

3. Making Major Changes to Food or Exercise? Consult Your Vet

Before you make a substantive change to your cat or dog’s exercise level or diet, have a chat with your vet and get advice on how to manage your pet’s weight. You want to avoid shocking your pet’s system with a sudden decrease in food, which can affect your pet’s metabolism or cause tummy troubles. And as with people, too much exercise, introduced too quickly, can put stress on your pet’s body and cause injuries and discomfort.

4.  Aim for Figure, Not Flab

Get the idea that an overweight pet is adorable out of your head. Your cat or dog should have a visible waist and a rib cage that can be felt when you touch along your pet’s sides.

5. It’s a Problem, Not a Treat

Giving your cat or dog treats is so tempting, and seems like a great way to express love and encouragement. But just a few treats a day can start to add up in terms of health impact, potentially becoming a significant and unhealthy part of your pet’s diet. Consider limiting the number of treats you give your pet, and switching to a healthier variety, if necessary.

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.

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