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Pet Obesity Awareness Day

October 9th is Pet Obesity Awareness Day! Quite a few of our furry patients are overweight or obese. Fluffy and Fido don’t know—or care—about the health problems those extra pounds can cause. They just know they love food! That’s why it’s so important to raise awareness among pet owners. A London, ON vet discusses pet obesity in this article.

Health Risks

Obesity can cause or contribute to some very serious medical issues. Heart disease, diabetes, respiratory issues, and bone/joint problems are just a few of the health problems pudgy pets can face. Obese pets are also more likely to have complications from surgery or anesthesia, and often have trouble reproducing. In fact, that extra weight can shorten your pet’s lifespan by five years or even more!

Serving Sizes

Portion control is very important! Even giving your furry friend just a few calories too many each day can cause them to pack on extra weight. Ask your vet for specific advice. (Tip: you may want to use a measuring cup for kibble.)

Treats

Many of our furry patients have their humans trained to feed them on demand. They’re also quite talented when it comes to tugging at our heartstrings. You aren’t doing your pet any favors by sharing your sandwich! Keep treats to about 5 percent of your pet’s daily caloric intake.

Exercise

Keeping your pet active will help keep your furry friend at or near their ideal weight. For dogs, this usually entails daily walks. As for Fluffy, you’ll want to provide her with lots of toys to pounce on, as well as some cat furniture that encourages her to jump and climb. Playing with your pet will also give them a good workout. Ask your vet for more information.

Age

Sometime pets get a bit pudgy as they age. This makes sense, as dogs and cats in their golden years are nowhere near as active as puppies and kittens are. Keep an open line of communication with your vet about your pet’s changing needs, and make adjustments as needed.

Weight Loss

Do you have a pudgy pet on your hands? Consult your vet before making any changes to their menu. Like people, pets must lose weight slowly in order to do so safely.

Please reach out if we can ever be of assistance. As your London, ON vet clinic, we’re here to help!

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