Image Credit: quinntheislander
It turns out that among obese animals the problem of obesity is much more widespread than among people. According to statistics, every second domestic cat and dog is overweight, but only every fourth owner knows about it. On how to help a pet to come into shape and together love a healthy lifestyle.
The weight of excess weight
Excess weight causes serious harm to the body, not only humans, but also domestic animals. A dog or overweight cat has a predisposition to more than 20 diseases, and the animals are at increased risk for developing diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and orthopedic disorders. We all want our dogs and cats to be healthy, which is why it is so important to tell the owners about this problem, teach them to recognize the symptoms of excess weight and help pets maintain the optimal weight.
People, as a rule, realize that they have gained too much, and are trying to lose weight, especially before the beach season. But among the domestic animals is more common “bodipositiv”: obesity and fatness of pets, unfortunately, are part of the aesthetic norm. If you look at a Labrador or a British cat, today’s average representative of these breeds will be larger than 20 years ago. The same trend is true for Corgi, Pugs, Persian and Scottish cats. Owners do not know how to determine the excess weight of their pets, consider them normal (even thin) and overfeed. Animals gain weight not sharply, but in stages, and step over the threshold from a couple of extra pounds to painful obesity imperceptibly for the eyes of the host.
How to recognize obesity?
The ideal weight of each pet is determined individually. This figure depends on the breed, gender, age and other indicators. Therefore, it should not be recommended that the cat, say, weigh 8.8 lbs and the dog – 33 lbs. To recognize obesity, it is more convenient to use the system of scoring of fatness adopted among veterinarians. Stroke your dog or cat at the sides – at normal weight all ribs should be probed. Look at the belly: its contour should create a clear line, tending to the pelvic bones, without sagging. Look at the pet from above: the waist should be clearly visible (if it allows you to see the woolen cover). If one of these conditions is not met, your animal has a surplus of weight, which you need to get rid of. And if you notice the fat deposits on your back or the “roller” at the base of the tail, it’s time to get on a diet – it’s a sign that the pet has more than 30% of the excess body weight.
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Why do they gain weight?
Animals gain weight for the same reasons as people. The surest combination on the road to obesity is an excess of food and a lack of physical activity. The quality of food is also important: a surplus of sugar, especially refined, in the diet promotes a sharp rise in the level of insulin in the blood, and this hormone instantly stores excess energy in fat. Therefore, do not give the pet food from your table. A piece of ham weighing 30 grams, crawling over the cat’s daily diet, is equivalent to 12 donuts for a person!
You can draw parallels between the food behavior of the host and the animal: if you overeat, then the animal, too. Many animals do not know how to determine the moment of saturation and will eat until they are stopped by force or until the food runs out. An empty bowl should not be a signal to fill it.
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How can you help your pet build? The basic principles of slimming cats and dogs are the same as for people: there is less and more to move. But first of all you need to go to the examination and show your pet to the veterinarian and then stick to the diet prescribed by him. This will reveal possible hidden diseases that accompany overweight and obesity. As for the diet, it is necessary to reduce not the portion size, but the total daily calorie content. To do this, you may need to switch to a special dietary feed with a reduced nutritional value. Do not abuse delicacies, including chopsticks: they are very caloric. And, of course, you need to walk more and play with your pet, exercise. And it’s more effective and more fun to lose weight with your animal.