Second Chance offers tips to keep your pet at a healthy weight
NORTH BROOKFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A Second Chance Animal Services Veterinarian is offering tips on why it’s important to keep your pet at a healthy weight and what to do if your pet needs to drop a few pounds.
According to a news release sent to 22News by Second Chance Animal Services in East Brookfield, Second Chance Animal Services Veterinarian Dr. Jackie Celmer says that obesity amongst domestic dogs and cats in America is becoming more common than veterinarians would like.
A recent study showed that in America about 60% of cats and 56% of dogs have been classified as obese by a veterinarian. A pet is classified as obese if it is deemed at least 10-20% heavier than its ideal weight. Obesity is not only a primary issue but can predispose our pets to many secondary issues like diabetes, thyroid disease, heart disease, and joint pain which can worsen arthritis, and weaken a pet’s immune system making them more susceptible to secondary illnesses.
Some tips to keep your pet healthy include:
- Measure what you are feeding your pets. Most of us use a “scoop” that is some unknown measurement and provide a scoop or two into the dish. It is very important to quantify how much you are actually feeding with an appropriate measuring cup.
- Most commercial dog and cat foods have feeding recommendations on the back of the bag which should be fed for the pet’s age and ideal body weight.
- Exercise your pets. We should try to take dogs for walks or exercise them in the yard daily. If the weather is bad, try to play with them in the house for at least 15 minutes a day. Cats are a bit more challenging to get to exercise on demand. Getting a tall cat tree can entice our furry felines to jump and climb more which can aid in weight loss. Additionally, wand toys and laser pointers can be used to get our cats moving.
Only about 10% of pets diagnosed with obesity are successful at losing weight and over 40% of those who lost weight gained it back within a year. Weight loss can take time and it is important to be patient and not get discouraged.