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In today’s day and age, more and more pets are becoming obese. Yes, it’s not just a human problem. Food can take its toll on our pets too. You might be wondering why your cat is suddenly looking a bit heavier. It’s hard for us to say no to our beloved pets. With their adorable faces and cute eyes, they almost always win us over. Even when it comes to ‘one last treat’. People give their pets more treats and food from time to time because they think it makes the pets happier. Don’t be fooled though. Your pet isn’t happy if he or she is obese.
How does obesity affect your pet?
Obesity can have adverse effects on your pet’s emotional and physical wellbeing. There are numerous medical conditions that are tied to obesity. Your dog could develop conditions that range from osteoarthritis to diabetes. Obesity can also have dire effects on your pet’s emotional wellbeing. They have worse scores in quality of life, vitality, emotional disturbance, and overall pain.
How does your pet become overweight?
- When you show your love through treats.
Your pet obviously loves the occasional treat but be careful, don’t make it a habit. We fall for those eyes every time and just end up giving them more treats. Try to not express your love through treats. Limit the treats to special occasions like when your dog has done something especially impressive. Be stricter with yourself. Know when to say no.
- Lack of exercise.
When you’re working late and have no time to play with your cat or take your dog on a walk, guess what’s happening to their bodies. That’s right, with no physical exercise to burn all those calories, your pets start putting on weight. Just like humans, our animals also need physical exercise to keep those pesky calories off. Take at least an hour a day to do something physical with your pet. Not only will this benefit them, it will also give you a chance to unwind after a long day.
Should you change your pet’s diet?
In order to prevent your pet from putting on even more weight, you need to tell when you need to change your pet’s diet. Here are a few tips you could use.
- Check their ribs.
Spread your hands across your pet’s ribcage. If you can still feel his ribs, then your pet doesn’t need a diet change.
- Check his profile.
Get low and level with your pet. If their abdomen is tucked behind his rib cage, then your pet’s in the clear.
- Check how they look overhead.
See if you can find a waist behind your pet’s ribs. Just like humans, if your pet is still at a healthy weight, you should be able to see their ribs.
If you’re still unsure of whether your pet is obese or not, talk to your vet. He will also be able to prescribe some modes of treatment and help with the diet change.