July is Pet Obesity Awareness Month
Just like the rest of us, pets are gaining weight in staggering numbers. Sadly, the same health problems arise for pets as they do for humans.
Some of the problems are:
- heart disease
- liver disease
- hypertension (high blood pressure)
- many kinds of cancer
- joint issues such as arthritis and spinal disc problems
- increased surgical and anaesthetic risk
- decreased quality of life
- Pet obesity can also dramatically shorten the lifespan of a pet
Why Pets Gain Weight
- With age, their metabolism slows down. Keep an eye open for signs of weight gain after the age of five.
- Neutered animals tend to gain more weight than non-neutered dogs.
- Lack of exercise/ decrease in activity level
- Genetics and breed dispositions (Labradors, Cocker spaniels, beagles, dachshunds, bassets, and pugs are particularly high risk.)
- Social environment
- Physical environment
- Food availability and palatability
- Increase in caloric intake
- Cushing's Disease and other medical conditions
What You Can Do
Fortunately, there are measures to either reduce symptoms of obesity-related illnesses or prevent them before they start.
Keeping your pet trim and healthy is a lifelong process. You can drop in and have your pet weighed at our nurse clinics held 10:00 – 11:00 or 16:00 – 17:00 Monday – Friday. This should be done once a month or for pets with on-going weight related medical problems, as recommended by the vet.
Book an appointment with our RVN Sarah Hunt today to determine the right course of action to improve your pet's health.