Obesity in Pets (Pet Talk)
"Does my pet appear to be overweight?" When owners bring their dog or cat to the veterinarian, they frequently ask this question. Obesity has become a major public health issue in the United States, affecting both humans and their pets. The majority of pet owners are unaware of their pets' obesity and how it may be hurting their health.
How can you tell whether your pet is obese or overweight? Obesity can be difficult to identify without the help of a veterinarian, especially if your pet has long, thick fur. You start by pressing down on the sides of their ribs. When lightly running your fingers down the rib bones of both cats and dogs, you should be able to feel the ribs. Next, you should be able to notice an hourglass figure when looking at your pet from above. Your pet is abnormally overweight if there is no visible indentation around the midline. Finally, you should see a tiny tuck or upward slope of the stomach or belly while looking at your pet from the side. Obesity can be detected by the abdomen hanging low.
Obesity has a number of undesirable consequences, including arthritis, diabetes, an increased risk of complications during anesthesia, and a shorter lifespan. Obese animals are more likely to develop arthritis as a result of the additional stress placed on their joints as a result of their greater weight. Diabetes is a prevalent condition in fat people, especially cats. Due to the disproportionate quantity of fat that can impede a sedated animal's respiratory capacities, anesthesia and sedation pose a greater risk. All of these diseases have the potential to reduce an animal's lifespan. In a study on age-matched Labrador retrievers, it was discovered that dogs kept on the slim side of normal lived 2.5 years longer on average than their overweight counterparts.
It is critical to collaborate with your veterinarian in order to cure obesity. Rapid weight loss, on the other hand, can be harmful. A more formal approach, like with people, appears to be the most effective. This entails following a weight-loss prescription diet (rich in fiber, low in fat), feeding a precise amount, and visiting the veterinarian's office for regular weigh-ins. In most cases, reducing all table scraps or goodies is also necessary. Some dogs require more exercise than others, but it is far more difficult for cats. It's critical to rule out metabolic issues that can contribute to obesity in older adults, such as low thyroid.