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Being Overweight and Obesity: New-Age Scarecrows of Our Pets

author Lucy Byrne | Health and diet

More than a half of pets suffer from being overweight or obese. And this problem gets bigger and bigger every year. The quality of food, both dry food and cans, has increased in the past decade quite rapidly and food for a balanced diet containing meat, fruits and vegetables is common. What’s wrong then?

It doesn’t have to be only about our inconsistency in the approach to the nutrition of pets. It is also about the changing role of pets in families and households. Dogs do not guard gardens but sleep in our beds. Cats also run inside our flats more than in our gardens. A guinea pig leaves its cage only rarely and many people only take it out for cuddling.

No matter if the pet is a dog, a cat or a rodent, they have become equal family members we properly indulge. And by this, we sometimes forget about their natural needs and necessary physical activity. And this has a significant impact on their health. Moreover, pet obesity is often hidden to people’s eyes for a long time. So the owners do not have a clue their pets have problems.

However, our pets might be at risk of many health problems caused by obesity – from orthopaedic or skin issues to respiration troubles. There is a threat of liver dysfunction and the likelihood of inflammation and cancer is higher. Sooner or later, also metabolic conditions occur. We need to realize that bad care does not only influence the quality of pets’ lives but also the life expectancy.

If we realize all of this soon enough, we can make preventive measures so our pet doesn’t get overweight or obese. The fundamental concern is a proper selection of food, proper portions (for example meat cans are good helpers that will make it easier as you don’t have to weigh dry food all the time) and regular drinking. Also, pay attention to sufficient physical activity. Spring is coming, so it’s a great time to start with sports.

Has your dog suffered from being overweight or obese? What did you do about it?