Take a good look at your family pet and ask yourself, honestly now, is he overweight?  Could she be in better shape?  There are a number of reasons your pet may be overweight, health related, under activity, overfeeding and poor quality diets contribute to pet obesity.   Its so easy to give in to those sad eyes staring with so much love and hand over a french fry!  Today almost half of all pets are obese or overweight, yet 75 percent of pet owners consider their pet to be an ideal body weight.  The risks associated with obesity in pets are the same as humans: heart and respiratory disease, osteoarthritis, diabetes, ligament injury, high blood pressure. Especially in very small pets, even a couple of extra pounds can be harmful.  Unfortunately many times we don’t see the damage.

Our veterinarian Dr. Anna Ojea explains that obesity in pets may lead to more life-threatening diseases as well as be caused by  some of these diseases.  One of the most common causes of weight gain in older, spade  canines is hypothyroidism.  This is caused by a deficiency in the hormone produced by the thyroid which regulates metabolism.  This disease is diagnosed with a fairly simple blood test.  In felines, obesity can lead to Type II Diabetes that can be very difficult to treat.  There are also other endocrinopathies that could cause weight  gain.  Therefore, both the possible causes and effects of obesity should be discussed with your veterinarian. 

Once you have determined there is not an underlying problem, fortunately there are many things we can do everyday to ensure our pets stay in their most healthful condition or obtain it again.   Read on for ideas and visit us soon to check our new Pet Fitness and Weight Management area. 

 

 Now that the kids have returned to school Spot may be living up to his name on your couch.  You can both get in shape for the holidays  adding a quick game of tug of war to your daily routine.  Rope toys and pull toys are great for this type of activity.  Pets love the thrill of finding a special treat you have hidden for them.   Create a game of hide and seek with high protein, low carb treats. There are also many new treat dispensing toys available, designed to encourage physical activity and slow the eating pace.  And, with our weather just starting to cool off  you may want to add a morning or evening walk to your routine. Even just a few minutes of walking each day will benefit both you and your pet. 

Along with an exercise routine you may also need to reduce your pet’s daily caloric intake.  This can be done with specially formulated foods, being mindful of serving sizes and resisting the urge to treat your dog just because she is cute.  The amount recommended on your pet’s bag of food may not be right amount for your pet.  An average cup of dog or cat food provides between 350 and 400 calories.  Reducing your pets food by just 1/4 of a cup may eliminate 100 calories per meal. This is a very small amount which  may not even be noticed by your pet, but will help him to lose weight. Grain free varieties tend to be higher in calories. So if you switch your pet to a grain free diet, remember that you may need to reduce the amount you are feeding so that your pet maintains her ideal weight.  To see how many calories your dog should be eating based on his activity level follow this link to the dog food calculator at dogfoodadvisor.com.  

  

Pet Fitness and Weight Management

Calorie Content of

Dry Cat Food

Calorie Content of

Dry Dog Food

Text Box: Wet Kisses Pet Company
6169 Jog Road C8, Lake Worth, FL 33467
561-439-0114, 
Hours Mon-Fri 10-7, Sat & Sun 10-6