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Pet Obesity

With the holidays just around the corner, many of us are joyfully anticipating the wonderful treats and feasts while also lamenting about the latter effects on our waistlines. As we all know, overindulgence in tasty goodies can ruin diet plans, cause weight gain, and lead to obesity. Being mindful of our choices is important for our overall health!

Your concerns about weight management should also extend to your pets! Pets, as many of you know, are also at risk of gaining unnecessary weight, becoming obese, and developing other diseases. In 2014, 58% of cats and 53% of dogs within the U.S. were overweight or obese. The prevalence of pet obesity has been increasing by about 1% each year! One of the most eye-opening statistics regarding pet obesity doesn’t even involve our pets – it’s us! A shocking 90% of owners of overweight cats and 95% of owners of overweight dogs believe their pet is of normal weight! That’s surely a problem!

According to Dr. Ernie Ward, founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), obesity is the number one health threat facing pets. Obesity can lead to many other health concerns and diseases. Excess weight puts stress on bones, joints, the digestive system, and respiratory organs. Diseases that can be caused by obesity include dermatitis, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, and many forms of cancer. Pet obesity threatens to overall wellbeing and happiness of your pet and may lead to an early death.

Although obesity can sometimes be caused by other diseases, such as hyperthyroidism, the number one cause of pet obesity is us! The choices that we make for our pet directly influence his or her wellbeing, so let’s make the most informed decisions! Talk to your vet and listen to his or her concerns and advice regarding your pet’s weight. Changes such as limiting caloric intake, reducing processed food and treats, and increasing exercise and activities will all be effective in helping your pet lose fat or maintain a healthy weight. Better health choices for your pet may also encourage better health choices for yourself!

For more information, talk to your vet and visit reliable online resources!

Links:

Association for Pet Obesity Prevention

Pet Obesity: The #1 Nutritional Disease in Pets

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