Helping Your Pet Get in Shape

A new year has started and many people are making their resolutions for the coming year. On many people’s list will be getting in shape and losing weight. If our pets could make New Year resolutions, this would be on many of their lists as well.

Being overweight is as bad for our pets as it is for us. These are just a few of the diseases that being overweight can contribute to in our pets:

  • Arthritis-extra weight puts more strain on joints and bones and can contribute to the development of arthritis.
  • Diabetes
  • Respiratory Conditions-the more weight a pet has to move, the more strain on the lungs, especially in short nosed breeds of dogs, such as pugs and bulldogs.
  • Heart conditions-extra weight can increase the work load on the heart
  • Constipation
  • Skin issues, especially in cats that are overweight enough that they aren’t able to groom themselves properly.
  • General decreased quality of life. Pets that are overweight are not as likely to get enough exercise, which is as beneficial for them as exercise is for us.

There are a number of calorie restricted foods available for pets. You should talk with your veterinarian first though before starting your pet on a “diet”, especially if you have a chubby feline as rapid weight loss in cats can lead to a serious liver condition. Your veterinarian can also recommend healthy treats and snacks your pet can eat and help you decide how much exercise your pet can safely do when starting a weight loss program. You are also welcome to stop into our hospital to weigh your pet on our scale to help you in tracking their weight loss. With a little help on your part, your pet can look forward to a happy and healthy new year.

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