I have written blogs before on the issue surrounding obesity and our pets. Over the past ten years, there has been an increase in the number of overweight or obese pets. Currently, 56% of dogs and 60% of cats are considered overweight or obese (info from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention). Studies show that obesity can lead to arthritis, kidney disease, high blood pressure and some forms of cancer. The general public may not be aware that their pet is overweight as often the media shows pudgy pets as being an example of “healthy.”
One of the leading causes of this epidemic is that we replace food with love. It is easier to give a dog a treat than it is to take them out for a walk, especially when we are leaving the pet alone in a rush and feeling a bit guilty. We don’t need to eliminate all treats; we need to be careful with the type, number, and frequency of them. We can and should replace treats with affection and interaction.
We are happy to discuss the amount of food, treats, and calories that your pet should have. We can also evaluate your cat or dogs body condition and let you know if they are a good body weight.
By: Jane Corkum, DVM