When is a cat or dog overweight? Excess weight is becoming more and more common among our pets and their life expectancy is being shortened! It has serious consequences on their health because they can suffer from heart problems, joint problems and even type 2 diabetes. Changing the diet is often the solution.
What are the causes of overweight pets?
Overweight pets have several causes. Some owners tend to give their pets too much food and too much of it.
Rewarding treats and table scraps are also among the causes of your pet’s obesity. If the cat nibbles, the dog is greedier. Your pet’s sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise lead to overweight.
Spayed or neutered animals often gain weight if their diet is not adapted. In fact, females devour their food a little more than males. On the other hand, a very active cat that likes to hunt may eat its prey in addition to the food you give it.
As for dogs, some breeds are prone to being overweight. These are mainly Rottweillers, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Dachshunds, Beagles and Labradors. If your dog has a large appetite, it is best to analyze his stool, urine and blood. He may have diseases such as diabetes.
Hypothyroidism and hormonal problems can also be responsible for obesity. In addition, you must be careful about taking medication and the contraceptive pill given to the female, which can lead to overweight. On the other hand, you must observe the fat content in the kibbles elaborated for their palatability.
The symptoms of overweight: how to recognize it?
Weight varies according to the breed, age and sex of your pet. First of all, we observe his morphology, because he often presents curves or fatty mass around the neck and the belly. At the very least, you should be able to feel your dog’s or cat’s ribs and flanks under your fingers.
If you look at your dog from the side, you will see a bulge in the waist. If not, your dog is overweight. This is often the beginning of obesity. An obese dog or cat has difficulty moving and has lost its agility. Weighing is necessary to monitor your pet’s weight. A cat weighs between 4 and 5 kilos, beyond that it is overweight.
What are the remedies for weight gain?
Physical exercises are necessary to fight against overweight. The cat must climb, run and jump for at least 3 hours a day, which is rare for an apartment cat. City dogs, on the other hand, do not go out for several hours as they should. This requires a change in our lifestyle. By being physically active, your pet will burn calories and not think about eating.
If your pet is overweight or obese, a visit to the veterinarian is necessary with a specific goal in mind: to reach a healthy weight. The doctor will advise you on the diet to adopt with the ration to give to your pet according to its weight. He will suggest high quality brands of light kibble according to his age and physiology. In addition, some dietary foods have a satiating effect.
He can offer you kibble dispensing balls that your pet will have to push in order to release them. This will keep him busy while eating, having fun and getting some exercise. In the same spirit, there are also bowls with recesses, the cat and the dog will come to seek their kibbles with their tongue or their paws.
A regular follow-up with the veterinarian is recommended so that your little animal loses weight progressively and in a durable way, therefore on the long term. In general, you should limit sugars and fatty foods. It is essential that the whole family follows the same rules. Meals should be taken at regular times and long walks should be taken every day. As far as cats are concerned, it is important to vary their games and toys while offering them new things that they will appreciate.
As soon as your companion becomes overweight, it is necessary to consult a veterinarian to keep him in good health by rebalancing his diet. The specialist can perform a series of tests to rule out any type of pathology. Spending more time with your pet is a good solution. It remains to walk for several hours with his dog and to reward him with a kind word!