How to Stop the Pet Obesity Epidemic for the Love of Pets
STILLWATER, Oklahoma (AP) – Staying fit and active is a component of many people's daily routines. They schedule exercise and healthy eating into their weekly schedule. The same is true for humans and their dogs.
Dr. Rosslyn Biggs, Oklahoma State University Extension veterinarian and director of continuing education for the university's College of Veterinary Medicine, said, Obesity has a deleterious effect on dogs just like it does on humans. Excess weight raises the risk of diseases like diabetes, kidney illness, respiratory problems, cardiovascular disease, and arthritis. Extra weight can also reduce your pet's quality of life and shorten his or her lifespan.
Animals, like people, can put on weight for a variety of reasons. Poor food, insufficient exercise, and changes in metabolism, among other things, are causes, according to Biggs.
The easiest way to determine whether or not a pet is obese is to have it weighed at a veterinarian's office. A veterinarian can tell if a pet is overweight based on its size and breed. It's crucial to keep in mind that each breed's ideal weight is different.
When a dog weighs 10% to 20% over than its optimal weight, it is called overweight. Many pet parents are unaware that their pet is overweight, Biggs added. Your veterinarian can advise you on what your pet's optimal weight should be and assist you in devising a weight-loss strategy.
Dr. Amy Storm, a veterinarian in Stillwater, said a veterinarian will perform a physical exam and may recommend diagnostic tests to establish if a pet is overweight and why.
Usually, eating too much food causes Fluffy to become a touch overly fluffy; however, health issues can also play a role, Storm explained. It's critical to be open and honest about how much food your pet consumes on a regular basis. Inform your veterinarian about the brand of food you're eating. It's remarkable how many pet owners are unable to tell their veterinarian the specific brand and type of food their pet consumes. Your veterinarian will be able to construct a feeding plan with this information."
If everyone in the family gives Fluffy a treat at random times, or if there's a child in the house who constantly loses food from the highchair tray, determining how much a pet consumes can be difficult.
Storm suggests the following methods for keeping track of how much food your pet consumes:
At each meal, measure the amount of food put into the bowl with a measuring cup.
Measure how much food is put into the empty bowl each morning if free feeding, and how much is left the next morning if free feeding. Adjust the food measurement for that day accordingly.
Set a schedule for treats and make sure everyone in the family is aware of it.
Following the establishment of a weight-loss plan, it is recommended that you check your weight on a regular basis. The veterinarian can assist in determining how frequently a check is required. Exercise will also be a part of any weight-loss strategy.
Exercise is an excellent way to assist a pet in losing weight. Consult a veterinarian first if your pet has a medical issue.
Toys that encourage movement, especially for cats, are fantastic. It's a good idea to hide kibble or treats in a cat treat ball or similar form of interactive toy that encourages activity, Storm said. A feather wand or laser lights can also assist your kitten in burning calories.
With spring just around the corner, Biggs recommends taking use of the neighborhood's workout opportunities, such as the dog park or fitness trails.
The first step toward raising healthy animals is educating pet owners about the health dangers of pet obesity, Biggs added. It's also good for the owners to keep their pets healthy.