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Pet Obesity Awareness Day

Pet Obesity Awareness Day
Oct. 12 is Pet Obesity Awareness Day. Pet obesity is a growing concern among pet owners, and can result in a wide range of health problems for dogs and cats.

Weight control/management for your pet has been identified by Canadian vets as the number one way to extend your pet's life.

According to the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, pet obesity can cause serious health risks, including:

  • A shorter life span
  • Difficulty diagnosing other health disorders due to obesity 
  • Greater risk during surgery due to reduced lung function and/or decreased liver and kidney function. Obese pets also require more anaesthesia than pets who are a healthy weight.
  • Greater potential for high blood pressure, which can include the risk of heart, kidney and blood vessel diseases.
  • Increased chances of arthritis and spinal problems, as well as reduced mobility.
  • Less endurance and more fatigue. 
  • Obese pets may be less able to fight off infections.
  • Difficulty enduring hot weather and cooling down.
  • Higher prevalence of skin problems.
  • An increased risk of diabetes.
  • Reduced reproductive success.
  • Gastrointestinal problems.
...and more. Pet obesity can be very dangerous!  

Indoor cats are particularly at risk, as they tend to get less exercise than their outdoor counterparts. The best way to impact the development of chronic illnesses like arthritis and heart disease is through prevention.

You can encourage exercise in indoor cats through play.  There are a number of innovative toys and products on the market that stimulate a cat’s prey drive and hold their attention to maintain activity.  Ensure cats have high places in the home, so that they can jump up and monitor their “kingdoms” on a regular basis. 

A well-defined plan that addresses nutrition, household habits, and exercise will result in great success for pets and pet parents alike. 

Talk to your veterinarian about how best to feed your pet.  Your veterinarian may recommend an actual prescription diet specifically formulated for your pet's health status and caloric needs.