According to the most recent PDSA Animal Wellbeing Report (PAW), pet obesity is the biggest threat to animal welfare in the next ten years, and four out of five veterinary professionals have seen an increase in pet obesity cases in the last two years.
Us humans tend to fret about our own eating habits in order to prevent ourselves from becoming overweight, but what about our furry friends? We know that pet obesity is set to soar, so it’s time to take action right now.
Here at Medivet, we are extremely passionate about animal welfare, and we want you to benefit from your pet’s longer, happier and healthier life. National Pet Obesity Day takes place on the 12th October 2016, and we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to help you understand the health implications caused by pet obesity so that you can stop it from escalating further in your own companion.
Despite the obvious decrease in life expectancy, here are four health problems that can occur as a result of excess weight:
Arthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, is a common problem affecting our pets today, and excess weight putting stress on the joints is the main contributor. A healthy body weight can help prevent arthritis from developing in the first place.
Being overweight or obese has a well-documented correlation with canine bladder and mammary cancer. The inflammation generated by carrying too much weight promotes an internal environment that is friendly to the development of cancer. While we don’t have much dog and cat research studies to draw upon, the consensus is that excess weight increases a pet’s risk of developing many types of cancer.
Just like in humans, diabetes in pets is serious, but manageable. Unfortunately there is no cure but pets with diabetes can be successfully managed through nutrition, exercise and, if necessary, regular insulin medication. Being overweight or obese is a factor that increases their chances of developing diabetes.
Also known as hypertension, this is commonly referred to as the ‘silent killer’ because it’s difficult to tell if your pet has it and you can’t see any damage until it’s too late. We strongly advise you have your pet’s blood pressure monitored by your vet as this simple test can prevent sudden blindness, heart problems and kidney failure.
We know that sharing food is often regarded as a loving gesture (who doesn’t love being given a yummy treat every now and then?), but it’s important to know that you could quite literally “kill them with kindness” by giving them extra food that they simply do not need.
Remember, keeping excess weight off will help your pet lead a better quality of life with you! Our friendly team of vets and nurses are more than happy to offer further advice about pet obesity. If you are concerned about your pet’s weight, our practices offer free weight nurse clinics including advice about a good reduced-calorie diet and exercise plan to suit your pet’s needs. Simply contact your local Medivet practice for information.
Posted September 21, 2016 in Preventative Healthcare