Many people consider pets to be more adorable when they are a bit heavier, but the reality is excess body fat isn’t healthy for your pet. Here at Elmvale Veterinary Hospital, we provide a judgment-free environment and safe ways to get your loyal companion to a healthy weight. Our weight management program also helps pets who are underweight. It allows us to determine the ideal weight for your pet and customize a plan to reach their goal. To discuss weight management for your pet, reach out to us at 705-322-2661.
What is obesity in pets?
Obesity in pets refers to excess body fat. Based on your pet’s weight, our team can determine if they are overweight or obese. We consider your pet’s species and breed to identify their ideal body weight. Generally speaking, if a pet weighs 10 to 20% over their ideal weight, they are overweight; more than 20% indicates that they are obese.
What are the health risks if my pet is overweight or obese?
Excess body fat affects your pet’s health and shortens their life expectancy. Fat tissues can release inflammatory hormones and create oxidative stress that leads to them developing diseases. Overweight and obese pets often have the following conditions:
- Urinary bladder stone
- Heart disease
- Anesthetic complications
How can I help my pet get to a healthy weight?
If your loyal companion is overweight or obese, it’s important to understand that quick diets won’t get them long-term results. Your pet’s entire lifestyle will have to change to ensure they lose weight the right way. The first step is to work with a veterinarian; this way, your pet doesn’t miss out on essential nutrients and only loses excess fat. Here are some tips to follow:
- Say no to begging. Table scraps contribute to your pet’s daily calories and can make it harder for them to lose weight.
- Minimize their treats. Your pet’s treats should be 10% of their daily calories.
- Schedule your pet’s meal times. This gets your pet into the habit of eating at a certain time which prevents them from overeating. You can also use food puzzles to slow down their eating and increase the feeling of being full.
- Give them healthy foods. We carry calorie-reduced foods and treats for overweight/obese pets.