2022 - The Perfect Time to make a New Years Resolution!
It’s officially the New Year, and if you’re anything like us, you’re probably ringing it in with a resolution or two! If getting fit and healthy is on your list for 2022, why not make your pet an accountability partner?
Just like us, the overall health and wellbeing of our pets may suffer if they are overweight or obese. And unfortunately, studies show that pet obesity is on the rise. So, make fitness a joint resolution to help your pet lose a few pounds this year, and gain a whole lot of life in return!
What is pet obesity?
Obesity in pets can be defined as excess body fat that impairs the health and wellbeing of the animal. Occasionally, obesity is due to underlying health conditions, however the main cause for obesity is usually due to overeating and lack of exercise. Some other factors that may make your pet more prone to becoming obese include:
● The traits of their particular breed ● Elderly age – older pets are at higher risk ● Neutered dogs are more likely to become obese ● Female dogs and cats typically carry more fat mass, so may be at a greater risk of developing obesity Unfortunately, many animals may potentially suffer from obesity. But, getting back into a healthy lifestyle is possible!
How do I know if my pet is obese?
To see if your pet may be overweight, you can do a few simple home checks that will allow you to distinguish if they are obese.
• When viewed from the side, your dog's stomach should be tucked up. • You should be able to see and feel your dog's waist and it should be clearly visible when viewed from above. • You should be able to see and feel your dog's ribs without excess fat covering it. • If you feel your dog doesn't meet these requirements, or you are unsure, consult your vet for further advice.
It’s recommended that you give your Dog a Quick Health Check - www.harrishounds.com/post/new-year-health-check-that-you-can-do-from-home-during-lockdown, or book for an annual exam at your vet – this means your pet’s weight will be monitored more closely, and allows for a better understanding on the cause of obesity.
Obesity related health concerns
Just like us, it is imperative that our pets are being provided with the right diet and exercise regime to maintain a healthy quality of life. Also like us, dogs are animals that will eat even if they’re not hungry, and so some owners may accidentally overfeed their pets.
If your Dog is obese then this condition could very well reduce your pet’s length and quality of life. Obesity can also exacerbate underlying health issues, or create further complications down the line, such as:
● Diabetes ● Heart disease ● Respiratory distress ● High blood pressure ● Cancer
Obesity in pets is a serious welfare issue, as it can cause suffering and disability issues that your pet would not encounter if healthy.