The Seriousness of Pet Obesity

Did you know that when your pet gains too much weight, his body will start to work against him? That’s right, if a pet carries too much extra weight, it can result in a lower metabolism, increase in appetite and can even cause or worsen serious medical conditions, according to Dr. George Rodgers, specialty hospital liaison for Zoetis, makers of weightloss drug Slentrol for dogs.

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, an estimated 54 percent of cats and dogs in the U.S. are considered overweight or obese. While the number of extra pounds a pet is carrying may not seem like much to you, it adds up on a small frame. For example, an extra seven pounds in a dog that normally weighs 35 pounds is similar to an extra 30 pounds on a person who should weigh 150 pounds. Animals who are overweight are at risk for shortened life spans due to knee and joint injuries, heart and respiratory disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and other serious disorders.

Not to mention that when a dog or cat is too heavy, they just don’t feel good. They may find it difficult to stand up, greet you at the door, or run and play. That’s why helping your dog or cat to lose weight is so important – both to his or her quality of life and to your time together.

If you haven’t already, make an appointment with your family veterinarian to see if your pet is overweight, how much he or she should lose, and a plan to get your pet fit and healthy. In addition, check out these articles for info on getting active with your pet:

Recommendations and activity ideas from the Denver Post:  “How Much Exercise Should Your Pet Get?”

Get fit alongside four-legged friend with this dual exercise plan from Animal Planet: “10 Ways to Exercise With Your Pet”

Ways to entice your cold-averse pet to exercising in the winter from the ASPCA: “Winter Exercise Guidelines”