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Pet Obesity Awareness Day

October 7th is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day. Obesity is a very serious issue among our four-legged friends. In fact, well over half of the dogs and cats in the US are overweight or obese! In this article, a Livonia, MI vet discusses obesity in pets.

Risks of Obesity

Our furry friends may look cute if they’re a bit pudgy, but obese pets face some very serious health risks. Heart disease, diabetes, respiratory issues, liver and kidney problems, and bone/joint troubles are just a few of the medical problems chubby pets can develop. Pets that are overweight or obese are also more likely to have post-surgical complications and/or reproductive issues. Those extra pounds can even shorten your beloved pet’s life expectancy!

Diet

Overfeeding is one of the main causes of obesity in pets. Many of our furry overlords are absolute masters at getting us to fork over extra portions or fatty treats. Snacks are fine, but you don’t want to go overboard. Choose healthy treats, or pamper your pet with cuddles and toys instead of treats. Serving sizes are another concern: it’s very easy to accidentally give your furball too much food. Even giving Fido and Fluffy just a few too many calories a day can cause your little (or not so little) buddy to pack on extra pounds. Ask your vet for specific nutritional recommendations, and follow those guidelines exactly. You’ll be much less likely to overindulge your pet if you know that your furry pal is getting the right amount of food.

Exercise

Exercise is just as beneficial for pets as it is for people. Making sure your pet stays active is very important! Fido’s activity requirements will depend on his age, weight, breed, and health. If you have a dog, you’ll want to consult your vet, and get some professional recommendations for your canine buddy’s exercise needs. If you are owned by a cat, you may have to trick your kitty into moving. Offer Fluffy lots of fun toys, and take time to play with her every day. Don’t worry about overexerting your feline friend: if your kitty gets the least bit tired, she’ll stop playing and start looking for her next napping spot.

Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your Livonia, MI animal hospital, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re always happy to help!

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