Obesity is a common health problem seen in cats and dogs. Although food is essential for your loyal companion’s development and health, improper feeding can lead to medical issues. Research has shown that fat tissues are biologically active and they secrete inflammatory hormones. At our hospital we are here to help your cat or dog get to a healthy weight and prevent them from developing serious health problems.
How much should I feed my cat or dog?
It is difficult to give a set recommendation as all cats and dogs are unique. In general, most pets need to eat twice per day. Your veterinarian will consider their age, breed, level of activity, weight and overall health to determine how much you should feed them. From there we can determine how many calories your cat or dog should consume each day including treats. Treats should only make up 10% of your cat or dog’s daily calories.
Why do overweight pets need to lose weight?
An overweight cat or dog is sometimes viewed as even more adorable but in truth, excessive weight is damaging to their health. Additional fat disrupts their health systems and makes them more likely to develop arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Sadly, some of these diseases like arthritis will only get worse with time. Living with a progressive disease will negatively affect your cherished companion’s quality of life and shorten their lifespan.
How can I help my cat or dog maintain a healthy weight?
Following the diet recommended by your veterinarian is the first step to helping your loyal companion lose weight. You can also make adjustments at home to support their weight loss. Here are some tips:
- No more table scraps.
- Reward your cat or dog with cuddles or playtime instead of treats.
- Add healthy snacks to their diet. You can ask your veterinarian for recommendations.
- Follow a feeding schedule instead of free feeding.