While we often think of obesity as effecting only humans, this is simply not true. Animals of all types can become obese if not fed properly and are not given their needed amount of daily exercise. According to recent studies, 50% of all dogs and close to 20% of all cats in the United States are overweight. This statistic is not only alarming, but should also signal a desperate need for owners to better monitor their pet's diet and exercise habits.
The extra pounds that these overweight pets carry slowly begin to damage their internal organs, as well as joints and muscles. Obesity is a dangerous cycle considering that the painful effects of the extra weight causes your pet to become lethargic, only making the problem worse over time.
One of the largest bad habits of pet owners is to give your pet multiple trips through the day. Although you love your pet and would love to spoil it with all sorts of tasty treats, it is important to remember that these treats should be given in moderation and in small portions.
Another incredibly bad habit of pet owners is to feed your pet with table food, or "human food." Many of the foods that humans eat are completely unsuitable for the dietary needs of our pets. Some foods even contain certain ingredients that can make pets very sick. Although it may be tempting to throw that last chicken strip or other human food down to your pet, feeding animals table food should be avoided at all cost.
Some of the dangerous health conditions that can occur in overweight dogs include:
– Heart problems
– Risk of cancer
– Problems with the pet's skin or hair
– Shortened lifespan
– Respiratory problems
There are many steps that you can take to improve the diet and exercise routine of your pet. First and foremost, monitor your pet's food consumption and be careful that the pet receives the proper portion of food. Second, consider eliminating taxes that are associated with food. There are many ways to reward or praise your pet with toys or other tricks rather than food. Third, start exercising with your pet. Take long walks or run together. Anything that gets your pet's heart rate up will help protect and prolong their overall health. Fourth, depending on the severity of your pet's obesity, it may be necessary to consider weight loss medications for your pet.
Contact your veterinarian for more information on how to monitor and improve your pet's weight concerns. Helping your pet maintain a healthy weight will ensure that your pet lives a happier and longer life.
Source by Joseph Devine