The internet is full of photos of plump cats and dogs. As adorable as their humans find them, the truth is that these extra pounds imply a disaster for your health. And many are unable to run or jump, unless it is to pounce on their food bowl.
How to make your dog lose weight (or at least not gain weight) in four steps
“Both overweight and obesity are common problems in dogs living in the city, and also in domestic cats,” he says the veterinarian Jorge Suárez. But pampering them through food can have serious consequences.
Suárez warns that we tend to have a distorted image of what constitutes a healthy weight; Y We underestimate the risk of extra pounds. Even if you think your cat or chubby dog is cuddly; being so adorable can have dangerous consequences. “And it is a particularly pronounced problem in cats,” says the vet.
The Association for the Prevention of Obesity estimates that the 60% of cats and just over 56% of dogs in the United States they are overweight or obese. Figures that, according to Suárez, coincide closely with what both his team of veterinarians see in his clinic in Oviedo. And that would be extrapolated to the rest of Spain.
Dangers of obesity in dogs and cats
The incidence of obesity is a problem of increasing concern to veterinarians. In addition to a general loss of their quality of life, these dogs and cats suffer from health problems similar to those experienced by an overweight person.
“Excess fat can produce a diabetes or generate early osteoarthritis due to being overweight, “Suárez stresses,” in addition, it predisposes them to a greater risk of heart failure and to suffer from respiratory problems “.
And, as in people, obesity in cats and dogs can also reduce your life expectancy. Sometimes it is the fault of the genes, which make some dogs worse control their appetite. There may also be a disease that makes your cat more likely to accumulate fat.
But, in general, the most frequent cause of being overweight in our furry companions is quite direct: they eat more than they should and, in general, they do little exercise; an imbalance that implies weight gain.
Or we find it difficult to follow the indications of the indicative portions of the package. OR we fill the bowl on demand, every time we think the cat or dog is hungry. [Hace unos días respondimos la pregunta: ¿Por qué tu perro o gato siempre tiene hambre? Y muchas veces es por puro aburrimiento.]
Or we give them too many edible prizes and other snacks throughout the day, many of which are very caloric, such as cheese. As much as we give them in small amounts, many dogs and cats have a huge job burning those extra calories.
How to know if my cat or dog is fat?
Even so, it is difficult for us to recognize when our dog or cat has a problem with the scale. A study 2018, concludes that 68% of those who live with a feline they are not aware that their friend is overweight or obese.
Therefore, learn to recognize the pointsLosing extra pounds can be a good first step in avoiding this problem. The World Association of Small Animal Veterinarians (WSAVA) rates body condition on dogs Y cats from 1 to 9.
An accumulation of healthy fat, with a score of 5 or close, allows the dog or cat’s ribs to be easily palpated, while you should be able to see the drawing of their waist from above, and only a slight drop of the abdomen from the side (somewhat more naturally in cats than in dogs). If in doubt, you can always ask your vet for help.
What to do with an obese dog or expense?
The solution to being overweight or obese in dogs and cats is not an enigma: we simply have to learn to give our friends less food; and, at the same time, make sure they stay physically active. “The first thing is to counteract what we are doing wrong, that is, to reduce the energy input with a proper commercial diet to control weight, “says the vet. In addition, you have to increase exercise. For dogs, the solution is to extend outdoor walks and active games. And don’t let your cat sleep all day. In the case of felines, we also have to apply ourselves.
With them it is necessary to increase the interactive playtime you share, make their environment more complex, with scratching towers and shelves to climb near the windows (among other measures), as well as make them work for their food.
That is, use feline food puzzles, toys that your friend has to manipulate to get his little balls. Or simply distribute your cat’s croquettes around the house so you have to explore and work towards them.
Eye: weight loss must be progressive; especially in the case of cats, since a sharp drop can lead to serious health problems, such as fatty liver. The advice: If you’re going to put your friend on a diet, ask your vet for help.
If you don’t want to miss any of our items, subscribe to our newsletters