Pet Obesity Awareness Day

Pet Obesity Awareness Day is October 10th! Over half of our canine and feline buddies are obese or overweight. While your furry friend may not be too worried about staying trim, he or she will be much healthier staying at or near their ideal weight. A Lafayette, LA vet discusses pet obesity below.

Health Risks

While we can’t deny that chubby pets are cute, they face some very serious health risks, such as heart disease, liver trouble, diabetes, kidney issues, and respiratory issues. Those extra pounds also increase pets’ chances of having trouble reproducing, and even make it more likely that they will develop certain types of cancer. Obesity also contributes to painful bone/joint disorders, such as arthritis.

Nutrition

As you may have noticed, our furry buddies are very, very good at getting us to overindulge them. We know, it’s hard to resist Fluffy’s plaintive meows or Fido’s sad eyes. However, you aren’t doing your animal companion any favors by overfeeding them. Serving sizes are very important here: even eating a few calories too many each day can cause pets to gain weight. Ask your vet for nutritional recommendations, including portion sizes and suitable treats.

Preventing Obesity

Keeping your pet active is very important! Dogs all have their own unique exercise requirements, which depend on their age, weight, breed, and health. Ask your vet for specific advice. As for Fluffy, keep her moving by giving her lots of fun toys, and taking time to play with her regularly. Getting some cat furniture that encourages your pet to jump and climb will also help.

Causes of Obesity

While diet and exercise obviously play huge roles in your furry pal’s weight, they aren’t the only factors. Pets can also pack on extra pounds due to age, genetics, and, occasionally, due to medical issues. It also isn’t uncommon for animals to gain weight after being fixed. If you aren’t sure why your pet is getting pudgy, consult your vet.

Diet

If your furry companion is getting chubby, schedule an appointment with your vet. Don’t make any changes to your pet’s diet before consulting your vet. It’s much safer for pets to lose weight at a slow, steady pace. Crash diets are very bad for pets’ metabolism, and could make your four-legged friend very sick!

Please reach out to us, your Lafayette, LA vet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!

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