Some Breeds Are More Prone to Obesity Than Others
Studies have shown that both a breed standard’s wording as well as the breed’s individual genetic makeup might play a role in making some breeds more prone to obesity than others. While we still may not have concrete answers as to why some breeds are more prone to obesity than others, data suggests that the following breeds will be statistically more prone to obesity than their fellow canines:
- Basset Hounds
- Golden Retrievers
- Cocker Spaniels
- Labrador Retrievers
Your Dogs Weight Should Be Determined Based on His Age, Breed, and Lifestyle
People seem to get caught up in the “standard” dog ideal a lot. While it’s true that there are some overarching features that dogs within a certain breed should possess, you need to allow room for individuality. For example, your dog’s age, breed, and lifestyle should all play a part in determining your dog’s ideal weight. The best person to talk to about this will be your vet. They will be able to give you more detailed information on what BCS (Body Condition Score) your dog should aspire to and give you all the counsel and support you need to hit that number.
Your Dog Should Follow an Exercise Routine
Most think that taking their pup out for exercise every now-and-then is enough for their pet, but in all reality, it would be ideal for pets to follow an exercise routine similar to that of their human counterparts. While crafting the ideal daily routine for your pet, you’ll need to include exercise as it can have a far-reaching positive impact on your dog’s life. Your plan can range from playing fetch at a particular time each day, to taking them for a walk each morning or soon after you get home from work; the choice is yours.
Cats Won’t Just Stop Eating
Most cat owners believe the myth that their cats will simply stop eating when they get full, but that’s not always the case. Cats are just as likely to start overeating as humans are. If you wouldn’t stop in front of an all-you-can-eat buffet, then your cat wouldn’t either. Just like humans, when cats sit in front of a large supply of food their perception of “full” can alter. Just like when you dive into a full bag of chips, you tell yourself you’ll only eat a few, but then 15 minutes later the bag is empty. Cats work the same way. Trusting a cat to stop eating when its “full” from large bowls or automatic feeders is not realistic.
Your Pet’s Food Matters
You may think that simply feeding your pet less will make him slim down if he has become obese, but you need to take a closer look at your pet’s food; literally. It’s easy due to the fact that all types of pet food have a detailed list of ingredients on their packaging. When choosing a food, you want your pet to get all the essential proteins and nutrients they need while avoiding some of the high-calorie filler that many pet foods possess. Some food brands have more caloric filler than others. This filler is used to create food that is cheaper to produce, which then can be sold to pet owners at a lower price. Some dogs and cats have a great metabolism and get enough exercise that eating this type of food won’t affect them, but not all. If your pet leads a sedentary lifestyle, your choice of food could be a serious contributing factor to their obesity.
Regular Weigh-Ins Could Play a Big Role in Weight Management
Have you ever considered weighing your pet outside of the vet’s office? While this may not be practical for large breeds, it can be quite manageable for smaller breeds and cats. If you own one of these types of obese pets, it might be helpful to your pet’s diet plan to weigh your pet every 3-4 weeks while keeping a record of their weight. With regular weigh-ins, you’ll be able to monitor any movement in your pet’s weight. You can find pet-brand scales at most pet stores.
Obesity is One of the Fastest-Growing Health Problems Facing Pets Today
Let’s start with the cats. Fat cats have become a norm in most households, but this trend must end. Pet owners seem to have a more laissez-faire approach to cat health than they do for dogs. Cats can be sneaky about hiding any symptoms or signs of discomfort from their humans. While pet owners may take their dog in for a yearly medical exam, they rarely do the same for cats. By skipping annual exams, they miss the opportunity for a vet to point out their cat’s worsening obesity or any other disease. It’s reported that 59% of cats are obese, beating both their human and canine counterparts. Wonder how many of those cats could have been put on a path to a proper weight if they had seen a vet sooner.
And now the dogs. 53% of American dogs are, like cats, obese. Pet obesity has turned into a serious epidemic that needs to be addressed by today’s pet owners. This number is higher than the 33% national average for human obesity. The most common causes of obesity in dogs is an improper diet or an insufficient amount of exercise.
Obese Pets are Expensive
In a recent Banfield report, it was found that during a four-year period, people who owned an overweight dog spent 17% more in healthcare costs and 25% more on medications, totaling up to around $2,026 per year. Likewise, owners of overweight cats spent 36% more on medical care and dietary needs. That came out to $1,178 per year. That’s a lot of money that could have been spent elsewhere.
Understand Obesity with PetPlace
Sometimes it can be hard to identify your own pet’s obesity. It may be the offhand remark of a friend or the way your cat has suddenly stopped running to greet you that clues you into your pet’s condition. If you fear that your pet has reached an unhealthy weight, we urge you to talk to your vet. And as always, don’t make any changes to your pet’s diet or lifestyle without first discussing the change with your vet. We wish you the best of luck.