Posted by: My Personal Vet | April 13, 2010

How fat is your cat? Is your dog a log?

Let’s fix obesity in our pets together!Healthy cat

The BIG disease everyone is talking about on TV — but not face-to-face.  Let’s stick to animals for right now. You should know how to evaluate your cat or dog for obesity.  Do it today!  Fun Obesity Checking Tool here

Obesity is the Number 1, the big Numero Uno, disease in cats and dogs.   I’ve found that people really don’t want to face it.  And vets, not wanting their clients to be angry (and they do get angry), don’t want to talk with them about Fluffy or Poochie.   Have you honestly asked your vet whether Poochie should lose weight?  And then listened to the answer?  The problem is growing and is, honestly, making vets money.  Lots of diseases, lots of treats sold, lots of food sold.   Article on the Growing Problem of Obesity in Cats and Dogs.

Let’s face it.  We’ve gotten used to cats and dogs sleeping a lot. Have you used any of these excuses?

  • Getting older and not playing as much.  She’d rather sit in the sunshine.
  • She’s just fluffy or big-boned.
  • Kitty just doesn’t like to play like when he was a kitten.

Sister the healthy dog

They are just so darn cute they need another treat! Even if we have to bring it to them! Or buy one they really like!

The problem is what they really need is less treats, more play, and no excuses from the people who are in charge of their health.  We are in charge of what goes in their mouth.   Of course, they’re cute and wonderful and talented — especially mine!  But feeding them too much reduces their lifespan.  It’s killing them with love.  I want all the time I can get with them!  (Except maybe with Laurie who is a bit of a pistol – ouch!)

Studies have been done on Labrador Retrievers.  One litter mate could eat all they wanted — free feeding.  The other got to eat 75% of what their buddy ate.  (I’d have encouraged my buddy to eat lots!)  The results showed a TWO year difference in lifespan.  I’d give a lot to have 2 more years on my dog’s life.   Journal of Amer. Vet. Med. article

I’ve had a lot of people argue with me:   “The people at the dog park” think their dog is too skinny.  Just when they get a nice, healthy weight, people ask  them, “Why aren’t feeding your dog enough.  He’s so skinny.”   I’ve advised them that, finally, people are seeing a dog at a weight that promotes health rather than illness.  Why get arthritis, diabetes, knee injuries, and lethargy from falling to peer pressure?  And, to top it off, surgery is a real risk at the body fat level that most dogs and cats live with.

Cats are no skinnier.  They need to have their weight monitored but losing weight can be even harder.  They must always meet their caloric requirements but need more water, more protein, less carbs.  (But that’s the newsletter story.)  Try throwing dry food bits across the floor and getting them to catch them — maybe just a few inches away at first!  Don’t except that fat has to stay fat! Toys, activities, different feeding places so they have to walk.

Save your pet’s health.  Don’t be in denial!  Talk with your vet,  use the tools online, ask me!  (Trust me, I’m always honest about your pet’s health!)


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