Is Your Pet Overweight?

An estimated 54% of dogs and cats in the United States are overweight or obese; that is approximately 93 million dogs and cats in the U.S., according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP)! Is your pet among this frightening statistic?

Experts say that the problem stems from the fact that many owners routinely overfeed their pets and don’t exercise them enough. However, most owners are probably unaware of the dangerous health problems that can be caused by excess weight, including:

Osteoarthritis
Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes
High Blood Pressure
Heart and Respiratory Disease
Cranial Cruciate Ligament Injury
Kidney Disease
Many Forms of Cancer
Decreased life expectancy (up to 2.5 years)
Excess weight can also be very uncomfortable for your pet
Helping your pet slim down might be as simple as adding some extra time to your walk routine or altering dietary habits. Of course, you need to rule out any medical conditions that could be causing your pet’s weight gain, such as hypothyroidism. Talk to your vet if you think that your pet might have a weight problem, and as always, make sure to discuss any dietary changes, restrictions, or new exercise plans with your vet. Your veterinarian can help determine if your pet is too heavy and provide guidelines for achieving his or her ideal weight, which can vary by age, breed, and size.

To find out if your pet is overweight, you can check out the APOP’s website, which has a number of helpful resources for pet owners who have overweight pets. You can also take Pet Obesity Awareness Surveys for Pet Owners here to participate in APOP’s upcoming research.

For more than 20 years, Willard Veterinary Clinic has provided dedicated veterinary care for the communities of Quincy, Boston, Dorchester, Milton, Braintree, Weymouth, Canton, Randolph, Hingham, Abington, Hanover, and Rockland. Contact us to see why we’re different!

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