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Posted on 04-11-2014
Since many dogs and cats gain weight over a period of time, what the scale says at an annual wellness exam is sometimes a big shock to an owner. If the animal has been gaining small amounts for several years, the owner might not have noticed that it has become obese. Because obesity can be the gateway for a variety of other illnesses, it is important to take action in order to help your pet achieve a healthier weight.
Did you know that more than half of U.S. cats and dogs carry excess weight? At least 20 percent of them fall into the obese category. The most common reason for extra pounds is improper pet nutrition, usually consumption of too many calories from food and/or treats. Pet weight loss is extremely important because these animals are at risk for osteoarthritis, lameness, and the need for lifetime pain medication.
Other conditions linked to excess pounds include insulin resistance and diabetes, heart and respiratory disease, high blood pressure, some types of cancer, stroke, and liver or kidney failure, according to our veterinarian in Canton. Continuing veterinary care for any of these conditions can be expensive in terms of finances and time. Orthopedic surgery alone might cost thousands of dollars.
Dogs only 15 percent over their ideal weight can experience a life expectancy shortened by up to two years. Once a cat becomes obese, it could remain obese even after it gets proper pet nutrition and no longer receives too many calories.
The first step in pet weight loss is identifying an ideal healthy weight. Our Canton veterinarian will help you set a goal for your dog or cat based on its age, breed, and bone structure and will develop a pet nutrition and lifestyle plan to reach it. Changes could be as simple as cutting out table scraps or increasing activity level. Our hospital staff will continue to help you revise your pet’s wellness plan as the animal reaches its senior years.
Our veterinarian in Canton takes pet obesity very seriously. Your pet’s well-being is always our top priority.
How close is your pet to its ideal weight?
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