Get the Lean on Pet Obesity: Part One

Some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions in North America involve making healthier lifestyle choices, becoming more fit and, oftentimes, losing weight.  These resolutions can be beneficial for humans and pets alike!

Many pet owners view feeding food as a way to reward their pets for good behaviour, as well as an expression of their love for their pet.  Unfortunately, when overdone, it can have adverse effects on our pet’s health.  Overeating, poor nutrition, and a lack of physical exercise are the most common factors contributing to the development of obesity in our pets. It is estimated that up to 35% of dogs and cats in North America suffer from some degree of obesity.

Obesity in pets, just as in humans, is associated with a range of health problems, including, but not limited to: Arthritis (unneeded stress of your pet’s joints), Respiratory Compromise (fat constricts the chest muscles, making breathing difficult), Diabetes Mellitus (extra body fat leads to insulin resistance in cats, often as much as a 50% decrease in insulin sensitivity), Hepatic Lipidosis (a form of liver disease whereby the liver becomes infiltrated with fat and then fails to function as a result), and Increase in Surgical and Anaesthetic Risk (drug dosing becomes less accurate, air exchange during anaesthesia becomes challenging, and organs are harder to visualize for doctors/surgeons).

For more detailed information on the various health risks associated with pet obesity, check out our Client Education articles under the Resource tab.

Check out Part Two of our Obesity Blog for tips and tricks to combat pet obesity!


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