December is a month of indulgence. It is hard to stay fit when there are cookies, candies and cups of eggnog at every gathering. This seems like a good time to address obesity in pets. Over 80% of dogs and cats seen in US veterinary hospitals are overweight! That makes obesity the most common ailment seen in our hospitals! Pets that are overweight have an increased incidence of heart disease, orthopedic problems, liver disease and diabetes. Obesity in people is known to increase the risk for cancer – the number one killer of dogs and cats in the US. A recent study showed that Labradors fed to an ideal body weight lived an average of 2 years longer than those that were allowed to get overweight. That equates to a 17% longer life! Obesity also causes pain. Not only is it hard to carry around all those extra pounds, but fat also produces inflammatory chemicals that worsen all inflammatory processes – that includes arthritis and itchy skin conditions!
I will be addressing ways to control your pets weight throughout this month. Come by and have one of our staff members evaluate your pet ™s body weight – we can assign a œbody condition score and help you with weight loss ideas at no charge.