Is your furry friend starting to look a bit round? If so, your pet may be obese. While Fido and Fluffy may look cute with a few extra pounds, the truth is that being overweight is very dangerous for your four-legged buddy’s health. In this article, a local San Antonio, TX vet discusses obesity in pets.
In some cases, it can be quite obvious that a pet is overweight. Sometimes, however, all that fur can make it difficult to tell if your furball is, well, fat or fluffy. Here’s a quick test; feel for your pet’s ribs. You should be able to feel them easily under a thin layer of fat and muscle. If you have a hard time feeling them, your four-legged buddy may need to drop a few pounds. If the ribs are very prominent, however, your pet may be underweight.
Being obese carries many of the same health risks for dogs as it does for people. Those extra pounds can increase your furbaby’s chances of developing many serious medical conditions, including heart disease, liver trouble, osteoarthritis, hypertension, and diabetes. Overweight pets are at greater risk from surgical and/or anesthesia complications. Chubby furballs are also more prone to breathing difficulty, and have lower stamina and exercise capabilities.
Just like people, pets need to lose weight gradually to remain healthy. If your furball is obese, ask your vet to recommend a proper nutritional plan, including portion sizes. Ask for exercise guidelines as well. To ensure your furbaby is getting the proper nutrition, get the highest quality pet food you can afford.
First and foremost, never ever put a pet on a crash diet, as this can be very dangerous for your furry pal Also, steel yourself against those big sad eyes and resist your furkid’s begging! Fido and Fluffy may be very good at putting on a theatrical display and convincing you to fork over that fatty tidbit, but don’t indulge them! Reward your four-legged buddy with toys and healthy snacks instead. Here’s a tip: when your canine pal begs, pull a switch on him and give him a bite of cooked carrot instead.
Does your furry pal need nutritional counseling? We are happy to help! As your local San Antonio, TX veterinary clinic, we are here to help!