Pet Weight Critical to Wellness of Cats and Dogs

Image of a fat dog.

The Association of Pet Obesity Prevention advises that pets are suffering from epidemic obesity and it is preventable. Obese or overweight animals weigh in at nearly sixty-percent for cats and nearly fifty-percent for dogs. The number is constantly increasing and causing health conditions and physical distress for household animals.

"Helping your pet maintain a healthy weight is crucial to their quality and length of life," says veterinary nutritionist Edward Moser. "In fact, studies show that limiting your dog's caloric intake could extend his life."

Food Is Not Affection advises of the importance of pet owners distinguishing the difference between food and affection. "Owners tend to give their pets food and treats as a way of showing affection, but this habit can backfire if it isn't practiced with some restraint. Far better to give your dog a good snuggle than a leftover from the dinner table."

Stacia Willson's Consistency, Patience Crucial to Helping Pets Maintain Healthy Weight discusses her conversation with Cathy McCoy, Humane Society of San Antonio's public relations director. McCoy educates and urges the public that, "Giving leftover table scraps is another fault that can potentially hurt your pet. Keeping track of their weight weekly and developing the proper moderate exercise technique safe for your pet is essential." Those moderate exercise techniques McCoy suggests include daily walks with your pet, playing catch with size/breed specific toys, tossing and fetching toys appropriate size toys, and swimming. These are "great ways for animals to build stamina, strengthen their legs and lose weight," McCoy advises.

How to Help Your Pet Maintain a Healthy Weight educates pet owners about health conditions that become consequences of pet obesity and lack of weight management. "Pets that are overweight or obese are at risk for osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes, respiratory disorders, high blood pressure, heart disease and some forms of cancer." Increasing numbers of "pets are developing these disorders as a direct result of obesity." Leary, the author, urges owners to help their pets maintain healthy weights and implement weight management techniques because "these conditions are usually preventable, but once they develop, can be chronic and incurable."

Obesity and lack of weight management in your pet's life can cause havoc with their immune systems and make them prone to disease, virus and illness. Other consequences of excess pet weight or obesity in dogs and cats include damage to the skeletal structure leading to arthritis. At least one-quarter of household dogs are estimated to suffer from joint conditions that are serious. Ramifications of overfeeding and underexercising your pet also include intestinal disturbances, excessive tummy gas and digestive disorders.

Pet Weight Loss by veterinarian Jan Becker discusses pet exercise for owners of cats and dogs. Dr. Becker suggests that walking, jogging or riding your bicycle with your dog can work well for both of you, and that tossing balls and Frisbees can keep your pet moving if it enjoys chasing a flying Frisbee or a favorite ball. Care must be given to treadmill exercising for your pets because it can be dangerous and cause injure to them during the learning process.

"Cats on the other hand can be a bit harder to exercise," says Dr. Becker. Get your cat moving with cold laser lights flashed onto objects to interest them - but not in their eyes. Wiggle stuffed animals, move them sneakily to get your cat's interest and increase the attraction of pouncing, sneaking, hiding or batting at the soft toy. Owners must be vigilant of string products or toys. The string can easily get caught or tangles with your cat's tongue inducing them to swallow it. Unfortunately, when this happens it can be "very serious or even fatal."

"Catnip will often get a cat running around," says Dr. Becker. Keep in mind that catnip must be used in moderation. For cats, the nip is a stimulant that can cause digestive upsets."

Your First Visit is FREE

Sign up now

Office Hours

Monday:

7:30am

5:30pm

Tuesday:

7:30am

5:30pm

Wednesday:

7:30am

7:00pm

Thursday:

7:30am

5:30pm

Friday:

7:30am

5:30pm

Saturday:

7:30am

12:00pm

Sunday:

Closed

Closed

Location

Find us on the map

Testimonial

  • "Very caring people. I live in Clinton and it is worth the drive to them. I have been there a handful of times and the customer service has been above and beyond. Nothing but great things to say about every experience!"
    Chandra H
  • "i wish all the vets offices would do this!I think it is wonderful to advertise all our fur babies and how they are doing!"
    Penny G.
  • "SCAH has some of the most caring, compassionate and professional staff anywhere! They have treated our puppy dogs for the past 31 years and have treated each one with such kindness, knowledge and special care that we can't imagine going anywhere else. We have had some special issues with a few of our dogs and I feel like they not only did their utmost to give the best care, but also make sure that we as pet owners are part of the process. And when sadly, one of our fur babies has passed, they have given us such kindness and understanding that it makes a hard time much easier. Bless you all for your wonderful care to us and our doggies."
    Nancy N.
  • "A huge thank you to Colene for always making Lola’s visits relaxing 💜 Lola did great with Dr. Knutson. I’m happy that I’ve finally found a place that truly cares about the well being of my fur-baby 🐶 Their whole staff is welcoming and I never have to worry about Lola’s appointments."
    Amber K
  • "Every single person at Scott County Animal Hospital, whether it is one of the doctors, one of the techs or groomer or a front desk worker...EVERYONE treats us like family every time we have a contact with them."
    Debi E.
  • "The absolute best in the QC. Have always taken great care of our puppies and dogs throughout the years. Feels like family and always a warm welcome. Treat your pets with the best care like they are their own."
    VeronicaV.
  • "Excellent caring staff. If I could give them a trillion stars I would. Your fur babies are in the best hands. The most caring compassionate staff you will ever meet!"
    Lori H

Featured Articles

Read about interesting topics