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Do you know how to tell if your pet is overweight? Obesity affects at least half of the dog and cat population in America. Obesity affects several components of our pet’s health. It affects their joints, lungs, heart, liver, kidneys, etc. Luckily, there are several inexpensive ways to help our pets lose weight and to maintain a healthy weight.
Many people think that dogs and cats need to weigh a specific amount, but the best way to tell if your pet is obese (or too thin) is to use a body scoring system. This is easily understood and should be reviewed on a pet-to-pet basis with your veterinarian.
The number one reason our pets are obese is uncontrolled food portions. Many people give a scoop in the morning or in the evening or perhaps they leave the food bowl full. The key is portion control: measure out the portions you serve your pet. In addition to controlling meal sizes, it’s also important to control the amount of treats our pets get. Also, pets should never receive table scraps. Table scraps can cause serious illness including pancreatitis, strangulation, etc.
While speaking your veterinarian to determine a healthy diet, you can also discuss a healthy exercise regimen. It is important to speak with your veterinarian prior to making these lifestyle changes to eliminate potential illnesses. There are some health conditions that can cause your pet to become obese such as hypothyroidism in dogs, or diabetes in cats. In addition, we need to make sure your pet’s heart, lungs, etc. are strong enough to tolerate exercise.
For more information about weight management, please call our office at (510) 797-2323.