All too often people think they are doing their pets a favor by giving them scraps of fat from a roast or other tasty morsels from the table. Animals of course love it and we don’t really know when enough is enough. Many people aren’t aware of the many consequences of an overweight pet and tend to feel bad restricting calorie intake.
Approximately half of all dogs and cats in American homes are overweight or obese. Health problems such as heart disease and diabetes are common in these animals. Many fat animals suffer from hip and cruciate ligament tears because it is challenging to carry around so many extra pounds. Animals that get so big they can’t ambulate leads to a poor quality of life, expensive vet bills and a shortened life span.
Attempting to get a fat cat or dog back into shape doesn’t necessarily mean taking them on a 5 mile walk, though. Too much exercise for an overweight pet can exacerbate or create hip and ligament problems. Short bouts of a little exercise is ideal at the beginning, especially if your pet is not used to getting out and about. Calorie restriction should be well thought out also.
It can be dangerous for a cat to go hungry because the body will send stores of fat to the liver which will then be converted to glucose. But if there is too much fat in the liver then it can take over the healthy cells and cause hepatitis. It is important to gradually change a fat pet’s diet so they don’t suffer any ill-health effects.
There are many higher protein content pet foods that cost more than their fatty counterparts, but are better for your pet in the long run. The body uses these types of pet foods more efficiently and they need less of it. One great example is Innova dog food. Also, short stints of exercise several times a day is a good way to start shaving off those pounds.
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