The Importance of Pet Weight Mangagement
Keeping your pet at their optimal weight for a healthier life in Durham
As recently as 2018, an estimated 60% of cats and 56% of dogs in the United States were classified as overweight or obese. Obesity continues to be one of the most common preventable diseases that affect pets in North Carolina. Even a small amount of extra weight, up to 20%, can greatly increase the risk of your pet developing severe health conditions. Pet obesity has been linked to many other conditions, including:
- High blood pressure (Hypertension)
- Respiratory Disorders
- Renal Dysfunction
- Joint Problems, including osteoarthritis
How can you check your pet for obesity? Your Durham veterinarian will be able to tell your pet’s ideal weight, but between visits you can gage your pet’s health yourself. Simply run your hand along your pet’s side – if their ribs are difficult or not possible to feel, they are likely overweight.
Diet & Nutrition
To best manage your pet’s weight, a trip to the veterinarian may be in order. We can offer sound nutritional recommendations, including smaller portions of your pet’s current food, or a change to a low-calorie, low-fat food or prescription food. Beyond your pet’s food, it is vitally important that you do not indulge your furry friend with too many treats or the occasional bite of human food.
Activity & Exercise
Keeping your pet active is one of the best ways to help manage their weight. The options are endless, including walks around the block, running the trail, playing fetch or even swimming in warmer months. Keep the activity varied to keep both you and your pet interested.
Visit a THRIVE to discuss weight management.
If you see a sudden increase in your pet’s weight, it is always good to schedule a visit with your vet. While diet and exercise will impact your pet’s weight, there is the possibility something medical could be the culprit, including hypothyroidism. Always be sure to visit your vet near you at THRIVE for diagnosis and the appropriate treatment plan to keep your pet healthy and fit.
Important Pet Weight Management Information
Watch the video below to learn more about the importance of weight management in our pets.