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November: Obesity Prevention Month

Obesity cannot occur unless the amount for food (calories) exceeds the animalís nutritional requirements. Simple put, if a pet is overweight, it is eating too much. Any overweight animal should be evaluated to make sure there are no metabolic diseases that are contributing to the problem. Thyroid abnormalities can cause obesity and until it is corrected, dietary management will probably not resolve the problem.

Hazards of Obesity

  • Overweight animals have shorter life spans than normal weight animals
  • Hastens development of joint disease and lameness
  • Causes heart disease
  • Predisposes to Diabetes
  • Increases risk of Heat Stroke
  • Increases anesthesia risk

IMPORTANT:

  • If your pet is not interested in eating, do not entice them. If you provide a good quality food and liberal amounts of water, your pet will eat when it wants.
  • Spaying or neutering does not cause obesity. It may slow the petís body metabolism, lowering the calorie requirement. The pet will subsequently burn off calories more slowly, hence needing less food. The surgery does not cause the weight gain, eating too much does and you have control over that.
  • Healthy dogs and cats do not need to eat every meal.

A longer, more active life should be motivation enough for a caring pet owner to treat an overweight pet.