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Southwind Animal Hospital

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Pet Obesity Continues to Rise

An estimated 60% of cats and 56% of dogs in the U.S. are overweight or obese. Those are some hefty statistics.

A healthy weight lowers the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, respiratory disease, kidney disease, and some forms of cancer. It can also reduce the risks of injury to bones, joints, and muscles that are associated with excess weight. If your pet has arthritis, it is very important to maintain a healthy weight, as it is much easier to manage the discomfort associated with joint pain. Because excess weight can reduce life expectancy by more than two years, keeping your pet trim offers the best chance for a longer, healthier, and pain-free life.

Veterinarians can help pet owners learn how to observe and assess their body shape, provide guidance about the right diet and best-suited food, proper eating amounts, and feeding frequency. Exercise needs to be in the mix, as it helps to balance those extra calories, only making your pet feel enriched and full of energy.

Help your pet maintain healthy habits

Weight loss involves reducing caloric intake and increasing activity levels to burn more calories. Limit your pet’s treats and do not feed them table scraps. Make a commitment and be patient. In most cases, it takes longer to lose weight than it did for the pet to gain it. It can be done safely and effectively with assistance from your veterinary healthcare team.

Share your success stories with us—how did your overweight pet bounce back to a healthy weight?