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PET OBESITY AWARENESS DAY

Oct. 11 is Pet Obesity Awareness Day. A growing concern among pet owners, obesity is responsible for  a wide range of health problems for dogs and cats.

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. 

PET OBESITY AWARENESS DAY

Among cats, indoor pets are at particular risk, due to the lower amounts of regular exercise they get when compared to their outdoor counterparts.The best way to impact the development of chronic illnesses like arthritis and heart disease, which are often impacted by obesity, is through prevention. 

Encourage your indoor cats to exercise by playing with them! 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.  

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.

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