MANY people like to ‘treat’ their cat or dog with extra food and snacks, but they really should take care with the amount they feed their pets.
It is unfortunate that just as the human population is getting fatter, the rate of obesity in our pets is also on the rise.
It is usually down to spoiling them with unhealthy treats or over- feeding them. Take care when measuring the food out, and use healthy treats specially formulated for your animals using good quality ingredients.
There are many health risks to overweight pets including diabetes and liver problems.
This can be particularly serious when it comes to cats, who for any reason stop eating, lose weight quickly or are stressed as their reduced liver function can then prove to be fatal.
The risk of lameness and arthritis in heavy or obese dogs and cats is three to five times that of pets at the correct weight.
Obese cats are twice as likely to develop non-allergic skin conditions, possibly due to an inability to groom themselves adequately, which can lead to skin problems developing as well.
On top of that, if your pet needs an operation, which is more likey as it is overweight anyway, then vets need to take extra precautions when anaesthetising and performing surgery.
Many anaesthetics are ‘soaked up’ by fat so an overweight animal will take longer to come out of anaesthesia as the drugs are retained by the fat in its body.
As well as that, a fatty liver may not be as efficient at breaking down anaesthetics and other drugs, so again, recovery may be delayed.
So owners are not being kind when they give their pets an extra helping of food or unhealthy treats whenever they beg for them. It is better to be firm and watch what their animals eat.