Obesity is a very common problem amongst our pets, so we thought we’d talk about the importance of maintaining a good weight in our pets. Maintaining a healthy body weight influences many factors. Previous studies have shown that dogs/cats in an ideal body weight live on average 2 years longer than their overweight counterparts! Being overweight increases the likelihood of various diseases including diabetes mellitus, osteoarthritis, and cruciate ligament injury.
‘Dogs/cats in an ideal body weight live on average 2 years longer’
It’s not always easy to get our pets active, whether it be cats or dogs, and even more so in the winter when it’s freezing outside. Exercise is certainly an important factor in weight management and should not be ignored. It is important for reasons other than just weight including muscle mass maintenance, joint mobility, and cardiac well-being. Regular exercise is encouraged over long sedentary periods followed by large amounts of activity.
When it comes to weight, diet is the most important single factor that influences weight. Ultimately it is about reducing the number of calories taken in, and increasing the calories burned. There are several weight-loss diets available that can help hasten and increase the success of a weight control program. Regular weigh-ins are crucial to measuring success, so we recommend weighing your pet monthly during this process.
Think of it as a double win – you spend less money on food and your pet lives a longer, healthier, happier life in addition to being less likely to develop several diseases which can be painful and/or expensive to treat.