October 6th
Pet Obesity

October 13 is Pet Obesity Awareness Day. Did you know that according to the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association 50%-60% of pets in Canada are considered overweight or obese? It’s easy to accidently overfeed your pet, and with winter and colder weather coming, it can be hard to consistently walk your dog and ensure they get enough exercise.

Pet obesity is a serious issue that can lead to serious health problems. Did you know that life expectancy can even decrease? Obesity can lead to an increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, cancer, skin disorders, arthritis, torn knee ligaments and spinal problems. Obesity can also lead to a decreased immune response and gastrointestinal problems.

That’s why it’s so important to feed your pet the appropriate amount of food. Carefully read the feeding guide on your pet’s food to determine the appropriate amount to give your pet each day and make sure you measure their food too. Have a conversation with your veterinarian, especially if you are unsure. If your pet is more active or less active, they may require more or less food.

Consider the treats your pet gets too. Are you rewarding your pet with healthy treats? Apple slices, carrot sticks and bananas are great low-calorie treats for dogs, while cooked carrots and small pieces of cantaloupe are good healthy treats for cats. You may wish to discuss your pet’s treats with your veterinarian as well.

Lastly, consider how much exercise your pet gets. Most dogs need 30 minutes to two hours of exercise each day, and most cats need five minutes of play several times a day. It doesn’t hurt to talk to your veterinarian about your exercise plan, especially if exercise is reduced over the colder months.