Pet Safety: A Look at Animal Obesity
There are very few times that we would choose to send you away from our own website, but we’ve found an article that is really a must read!
In our line of work, pet safety of all facets is always in the forefront of the minds of our volunteers. Here’s the issue: almost anyone can spot a case of neglect or abuse. But did you know that there’s something far more prevalent that could be happening in your own home that can be literally life threatening for your pet? This is something affecting all colors, breeds, and species and unfortunately, the owner is typically to blame for the condition.
We need a serious wake up call here because we could be literally killing our pets without realizing it.
There is really so much more to this story that we are able to feature right here. If once you read this clip you find that this is a topic that interest’s you; please click the link at the bottom of the quote to continue reading. Our goal would be to share this post and spread the word before it’s too late to save another pet.
Dr. Ernie Ward is the author of Chow Hounds: Why Our Dogs Are Getting Fatter – A Vet’s Plan to Save Their Lives (2010 HCI) and Founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. Here’s Ernie’s stance on the subject:
Obesity is our pets’ number one health threat.
Today’s dogs and cats are living longer than ever before. Unfortunately, they’re also heavier than ever and have more costly chronic diseases. The good news is that many pet illnesses can be prevented. The bad news is that once a pet develops one of these long-term conditions such as arthritis or diabetes, there’s often no cure.
I’m pushing for a new era of veterinary medicine focused on preventing diseases rather than simply treating them. When it comes to preventing disease and helping your pet live a long, healthy, pain-free life, there is perhaps nothing more important than what and how much you feed them. Trouble is, we’re feeding too much. Way too much.
Over 55% of all US dogs and cats are estimated to be overweight or obese according to the latest study from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. Flabby felines and portly pooches are the new normal. Heavier pets are prone to a torrent of weight-related disorders. If your pet needs to shed a few pounds, consider these serious consequences of obesity as you’re looking for motivation.
Caring 4 Creatures urges you to take this issue seriously. Your pet is looking to you to be their sole caregiver and provider. Please do not let them down by being careless when feeding. Check the ingredient labels on the food you purchase. Are they getting good sources of protein, fat, grains, veggies, fruits, etc. Did you even know that some fruits and veggies can be so nutritious (and often even tasty) for your dog or cat? Hopefully your pet’s food is not full of fillers with zero nutritional value. If it is, change it.
Also, pay attention to quantity. There is almost always a general feeding guide that can be found on the bag of food itself. Take your pet’s weight, age, and exercise level into consideration when looking at these charts. Let’s say you have an elderly dog who weighs 65 lbs.; you would never want to feed him or her the same amount as you would a younger, more active dog of the same weight.
What does this boil down to? Do your research! Pay attention to what your pet is trying to tell you! Have they developed certain allergies or stomach irritations since they’ve been in your care? Do they seem to have chronic symptoms of itching or hot spots? Are they sometimes lethargic or worn out after a short walk? What are their bathroom habits like? How frequently do you weigh your pet? These are all questions that can be answered by just paying closer attention to your pet’s behavior and giving them a little extra care.
Many dogs view food as a source of enjoyment and a reward. Food rewards should be given out sparingly and in small amounts. The rest of the time, feeding should be a scheduled event. Don’t fall for those puppy dog eyes asking for your table scraps each night. Moderation is OK, but these little habits can be the turning point of how pet obesity begins to take over your beloved pet’s health.
Give this some thought, for your pet’s sake.