This is Bentley, the white, fluffy dog at Fletcher Animal Hospital. I would like to chat with you about a common health problem we see, especially during this time of year. Weight gain and obesity in dogs and cats. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard, “It's just winter weight, doc.” Oh, boy! That's a good one!
Some of the things that can contribute to overweight dogs and cats are:
Too many treats
Too little exercise
“Free Feeding” (keeping the kibble bowl full all day and night)
Not measuring food with a measuring cup (used for baking)
Pets that maintain a healthy weight have a lower risk of developing certain health conditions like arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, breathing problems, back problems, kidney disease, and some forms of cancer. If your pet has already developed arthritis, maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the pain associated with this condition and contribute to a better quality of life over a longer life span.
We are appointing February 2024 as Dog and Cat Obesity Awareness Month at Fletcher Animal Hospital. Please come by with your pet for a weigh in and weight loss report card. We will also have a yummy treat for your humans.
In the spirit of Saint Valentine's Day, remember there are better ways to reward your pet and show your love than by turning to food and treats. Below are a few recommendations from the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association):
Think of the activities that your pet enjoys like belly rubs, ear scratches or hearing you praise them. Not only do positive rewards like praise, petting, and play strengthen your relationship with your pet, it can keep them from relying on food for comfort and supports a healthy lifestyle.
If your pet is begging for a treat, take them on a walk, give them a good brushing or start a game and play together.
Remember that if your pet rapidly loses weight, this could be a sign of a serious health condition. Make an appointment with your Veterinarian right away.
Come by and pick up a weight loss brochure to see if your pet falls into the “Curvey Category” and don’t forget to say, “Hi” to me. I’ll be the super cute one in the front with Jenny and Margie.