Just like Americans have a problem with obesity, pets in Fort Lauderdale and around the nation are facing the same issue. It can be easy to feed a pet too much because they are not able to fully communicate whether they are hungry or not to us and because it’s easy to give in to a begging pet, share our food and put too much food in the bowl.
Many pets will continue to eat what is put in front of them even if they have had enough, so it’s easy and common for pets to become overweight or obese. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent or manage weight gain to help your pet live a healthier life.
How to Manage your Pet’s Weight
Problems in Overweight or Obese Pets
It might not seem serious when a pet has a bit of extra fat. But added fat and weight can cause a number of health problems, just as it does in humans. The problems can worsen as the pets age. Extra pounds can lead to trouble breathing, high blood pressure, diabetes, a reduced immune system, reduced stamina and other problems similar to those in overweight humans. Even just a small amount of extra weight can cause health problems, especially on a small animal. You might not realize when a pet is gradually adding a bit of extra weight, so it helps to pay attention to that and to get checkups with the vet.
Prevent or Manage Weight Gain
Coral Ridge Animal Hospital believes in preventive care for your pets. Similar to humans, working to prevent weight gain in pets is easier and healthier than trying to lose the gained weight later. Because of this, it’s an important part of caring for pets to try to keep their weight at a healthy level. If weight has already become a problem, it’s possible to help your pet lose weight and become healthier.
Add Nutrition and Exercise
Dr. Gordon offers nutritional counseling as one of the services offered at our Fort Lauderdale veterinary hospital. This counseling can help you determine how much food your specific pet needs and how to ensure he’s getting the proper nutrients his body requires. Dr. Gordon can teach you about how your pet’s nutritional needs may change as he moves through different life stages and might recommend specific types and brands of food. If your pet is already overweight, he can provide advice on how to help your pet reach a healthy weight.
You will be able to keep your pet healthier by including exercise in his lifestyle along with healthy nutrition. You can take your dog for walks, runs and play time. For indoor cats, it helps to play with the cat to provide stimulation and exercise. Dr. Gordon can provide specific advice on exercise for your pet. If your pet is already overweight or older, it’s a good idea to talk to the vet first before beginning any kind of rigorous exercise plan.
Focusing on what your pet eats and providing exercise are parts of helping your pet be as healthy as possible. These steps can prevent weight gain or help control it.