Time to Cut the Kibble

by Dr. Peter Hill 17. October 2014 10:36

dr. peter hill

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, an estimated 54% of U.S. dogs and cats are too pudgy, and 21% are classified as obese. The figures are similar for dogs and cats. The risks of being too heavy are well known in humans, and yet 68% of U.S. adults are overweight. Pet obesity carries similar risk factors, and as responsible pet owners, we need to cut the kibble and up the exercise for our companion animals.

Primary Risks of Obesity in Pets:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heart and Respiratory Disease
  • Cranial Cruciate Ligament Injury
  • Kidney Disease
  • Many Forms of Cancer
  • Decreased life expectancy (up to 2.5 years)

How to Tell If You Have an Obese Animal

Just by looking at your pet, you should be able to tell if a dog or cat is carrying extra weight. The following are signs that you have a pudgy pet:

  • It's difficult to feel the pet's ribs under the fat
  • It has a sagging stomach - you can grab a handful of fat!
  • Seen from above, your cat or dog has a broad, flat back
  • The pet has no waist

If you think you have a heavy pet, your veterinarian can recommend weight management foods, portion recommendations, and some simple exercise regimens to follow with both dogs and cats. Dogs may need to be walked 2-3 miles several times a week, and cats need to get short 15-minute bursts of active play two or three times a day. The routines may be good for you, too.

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