Did you know that 54% of all dogs and cats in the U.S. are considered to be overweight or obese? How many extra pounds does your pet need to put on before being at higher risk for potentially serious medical conditions? Not as much as you might think. Just 5 extra pounds for dogs and 2 extra pounds for cats could be harmful to your pet.
What are the most common health concerns faced by overweight dogs and cats?
- A decreased life expectancy of approximately 2.5 years
- Chronic pain from osteoarthritis
- High blood pressure
- Heart and respiratory disease
- Knee ligament injury
- Kidney disease
Some medical problems like diabetes and high blood pressure require daily, long-term medications, and the costs associated with ligament injury could be in the thousands.
Many pet owners do not realize that their pets are overweight. Here are some easy checks you can perform on your dog or cat.
- Can you feel your pet’s ribs?
- Is the stomach bulging or tucked in?
- Is your pet barrel-shaped or can you see a defined waistline?
Be sure to talk to your vet about appropriate diet and exercise solutions if your pet is overweight.