Dr. Joel Conn’s segment “Pet Tips” aired today on 95.3 The Beach! The topic was “Obesity.” Tune in every Friday morning at 7:25am to hear more Pet Tips!
“This week on Pet Tips we’re going to talk about Obesity
Obesity has become an extremely important health problem in pets and humans alike affecting greater than 35% of all dogs and cats. Unfortunately, obesity is commonly justified as a way to improve a pet’s quality of life by literally “killing them with kindness”
Studies have shown that obesity can cause a number of problems such as
- Arthritis, which is the the number one cause of chronic pain in animals
- Respiratory complications, especially flat-faced breeds like pugs and bull dogs
- Diabetes Mellitus – which develops in as many as 50% of overweight cats
- and a Reduced Life Span. A life-span study in Beagles actually found that overweight dogs live as many as 2-3 years less than dogs that are not overweight.
An ideal dog or a cat should have ribs that can be easily palpated beneath the skin – they should feel kindof like your knuckles and he or she should have a nice hourglass shape to the waist and a tummy tuck from the side.
The good news is that there are some simple things that you as an owner can do to prevent your dog or cat from becoming obese.
- Start by reduce the amount of kibble by 15-20%. Be sure to get out your cup measure and measure it every time!
- Cut out table scraps! Be aware of the power of treats!
- Feed in discrete meals instead of free-choice feeding
- Offer raw veggies as treats, like broccoli, carrot sticks, and celery
- Choose interactive toys, such as Buster Cubes that make your pet work for their food
- Increase exercise – find a local dog park!
- Commit to regular weigh-ins and develop a customized plan with your veterinarian
With a few simple changes in your pet’s lifestyle, you can avoid obesity and keep your pet happy and healthy for years to come.
This is Dr. Joel Conn from Pismo Beach Veterinary Clinic. I’ll be back next week with more pet tips. For more information, visit us online at pismobeachvet.com or come see us at 990 Price Street, Pismo Beach. We are open 7 days a week!”