Obesity is an epidemic among American humans, with as many as 36% of adults in America being estimated to be obese. This epidemic has long been attributed to desk jobs, technology, and disproportionate meal sizes. With these things being commonplace to the American public, it might make sense that this lifestyle could also affect other members of the family. Doctors have linked obesity in children with their parents’ food and exercise choices. Therefore, it could also be argued that human lifestyle choice could also impact pets. Therefore, it is important if you have a dog to consider its health.
Are You Feeding Your Pet the Right Food?
Food type and amount is very important. While most people know that over-feeding will often cause obesity in animals, many do not consider that what type of food an animal gets will cause obesity. Brands are tailored specifically for type and age, so buying the wrong brand and consistently feeding it to them could cause them to gain weight. Additionally, while also causing other health threats, feeding a pet table scraps can cause obesity. Ways that you can decrease the risk of obesity in dogs is to feed the right portion per weight to your dog, make sure to get a brand that is right for the breed, and avoid giving the dog human food scraps.
Is your Pet Prone to Obesity?
Certain dog breeds may also be prone to obesity. If you own a beagle, a basset hound, or a dachshund, then your dog might be more prone to obesity. While this may be due to shorter legs on these breeds, that does not excuse not providing proper food and exercise regimens to these breeds. Check with your vet to see the best exercise regimens for breeds with short legs.
Does Your Pet Have a Health Issue?
Like humans, pets can have health issues that can cause obesity. Health issues like insulinoma, hyperadrenocorticism, and hypothyroidism can all cause obesity even when your pet is on a strict diet and exercise regimen. If you notice that your dog is eating well and getting enough exercise but still gaining weight, you should definitely talk to your vet about potential health issues.
Is Your Pet Getting Enough Exercise?
A walk a day for a dog or free-range of a house for a cat may not be enough exercise for an animal. It is important to consider your pet’s breed when trying to determine whether or not it needs more or less exercise than your typical pet (giving a pug the same amount of exercise as you would a husky would not be health, either). It is important to talk to a vet about the right amount of exercise for your pet before starting it on any sort of regimen. Sometimes, a vet may prescribe specific exercises for pets. In some cases, a dog treadmill or a cat treadmill might be in order. Examples of those may be viewed here. In other cases, your pet might need a combination of diet, exercise and medication.
For most pet owners, pets are like children. It is important to take care of their overall health, and making sure their weight is correct is crucial to maintaining that health.