WE all know somebody who has a fat dog or cat. It’s unfortunate but true – just as our general population is getting more obese, so are our pets. If you love your pet you’ll tend to spoil them.
The health risks to the overweight family pet are many. One of the most common complications is the development of diabetes. According to one study, heavy or obese pets are two to four times more likely to develop diabetes.
Other problems can develop in the liver, which stores fat. When kitty is overweight, an increased amount of fat can build up, a condition called hepatic lipidosis. Since it can result in decreased liver function, it can be life-threatening if an obese cat, for any reason, does not eat, loses weight rapidly, or is otherwise stressed.
The risk of lameness and arthritis in heavy or obese dogs and cats is 3-5 times that of pets with optimal weight. Also, obese cats are twice as likely to develop nonallergic skin conditions.
Veterinarians generally need to take extra precautions when anesthetizing and performing surgery on obese cats. Since many of the anesthetics are taken up by fat, an overweight animal will take longer to come out of anesthesia as the anesthetic must be removed from the fat by the body.
In the end the responsibility for a fat pet can be placed on the shoulders of you, the owner. You’re not doing your pets a favour when you give them that extra can of food or kitty treat when they beg for it.
With holding things they like may have to be done for their own good!