Not every chubby cat or dog is facing serious trouble. Pet obesity means the animal is seriously overweight, almost always as a result of too much pet food and too little exercise. Breed characteristics, temperament and hormone imbalances may also influence body weight.
Having an obese dog or cat could mean less time with your pet. Overweight pets generally get sick more often and have a shorter life span than those of lean or average weight. Extra weight places strain on vital internal organs like the lungs, heart and liver. It also makes surgery or anesthesia more dangerous. Even breathing and walking can become difficult for seriously overweight pets.
Overweight dogs and cats can lose pounds by exercising and receiving a balanced, lower calorie diet with adequate vitamins and minerals. Portion control is imperative to successful weight loss.
A Veterinarian at a Banfield Pet Hospital can examine your dog or cat to see if the pet’s weight is affecting other areas of his or her health. In some cases, blood tests can determine if a health issue or hormonal imbalance is adding to the problem.
Gradual weight loss is safest. Special diets, proper pet nutrition, and weight control strategies are available. Your veterinarian can recommend what is safe for your individual pet.
Work with your veterinarian on:
Portions to feed at each meal
Total amount to feed daily
Treats that work with the diet
Developing an exercise plan
Target weight loss
If you have questions about this or any medical topic, please contact your Banfield hospital today. You can also find more in our Pet Health section, or see how your state stacks up on pet obesity at the State of Pet Health Report.