Obesity is a serious topic. We all know the myriad of ill effects it can cause in humans. But when it comes to our dogs and cats, let's be honest - the immense love we have for our pets can sometimes spill over into an overabundance of food. Our hearts may feel compelled to "fatten up" an adopted pet that may have been a victim of abuse or neglect, or begs incessantly at the table, or simply "looks too thin." But obesity in the animal world is equally as serious as it is in humans, and potentially deadly...and it's reaching epidemic proportions.
Dogs and cats are opportunists, stemming all the way back to their pre-domestication days spent in the wild, when food was hunted and competition was fierce. They are hard-wired to frequently "wolf" down whatever quantities of food their owners serve - and keep eating - even if that means consuming unhealthy amounts. Sharing table food, excessive rewarding with treats, and free feeding can all be recipes for disaster. Did you know that dog and cat obesity can result in arthritis, heart and lung problems, high blood pressure, joint injuries, tumors, skin disorders, a shortened life expectancy, and many other ailments? Sad, but oh so true.
If you have an overweight dog or cat and need support, or a guiding hand, please contact your vet. He or she can provide all the tools and insight required to help your pet shed those excess pounds, and incorporate a custom-made diet and exercise plan into their life. It all begins with you, as a responsible and loving pet owner!
So the next time you're tempted to fall prey to those pitiful puppy-dog eyes or miserable meows - you might want to skip the extra treat, and opt for a extra play session with your pup or kitty instead! You and your pet will both happily reap the benefits for years to come. ❤️