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Is your Pet a Healthy Weight?

shutterstock_34701850“An estimated 54% of dogs and cats in the United States are overweight or obese,” according to petobesityprevention.org.  This number is way too high and being the ones responsible for them, we can do MUCH better for our pets.  The first week of October is National Walk your Dog Week, finishing up that first week of the month celebrating National Pet Obesity Awareness Day.  Pet obesity is as large of a problem as human obesity in the United States. While there is some information provided here, it is highly recommended that you contact a veterinarian at one of our valley AZPetVet locations to discuss your pet’s weight and diet.

A few things that could lead to pet obesity include:

1)      Lack of our interaction and exercise – Sure, your pup can run around your backyard while you are busy, but will they?  Probably not.  Rather, they will probably nap until you get home and then wait patiently for you to come out and throw the ball or take them for a walk. With kids, work, and life in general…this sometimes doesn’t happen.

2)      The food we are feeding them could be heavy with preservatives and “fillers,” not enough of the ingredients that actually hold nutritional value.

3)      Early sign of a more serious medical problem.

4)      And…interestingly, the article petobesityprevention.org identifies that owners of obese pets often do not even recognize that their pet is obese.

So don’t wait; make your appointment for a wellness exam today!

Additionally, some of the issues your pet could face due to being overweight:

1)      Type 2 Diabetes

2)      Osteoarthritis

3)      High Blood Pressure

4)      Various forms of cancer

Suggestions for helping combat the problem?

1)      Take a look at the food you are giving them and talk with your vet about it.

2)      Add that extra trip around the block on the morning or evening walk.

3)      Buy a new toy that keeps their interest (and yours since you’re likely the source of throwing it!)

4)      Adopt a second cat or dog to keep your pet busy and active throughout the day.

Pet obesity in most cases is preventable and treatable. Use this National Walk your Dog week to really focus on spending more time with your pet doing high energy activity – fetch, a walk, or a perhaps a trip or two to the dog park!

Source: http://www.petobesityprevention.org; https://www.avma.org/Events/pethealth/Pages/default.aspx

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