Posted on 30th Sep 2016
LINDA JUERGENS, CVA
Is your pooch pudgy? Is your feline fat?
Pet obesity in the US is a growing problem. In 2015 The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention says 58% of cats and 54% of dogs are obese. Dogs who are 20% or more above their ideal weight are obese. For a dog weighing 50 pounds, a weight gain of 10 pounds would be a 20% gain. Three extra pounds on a cat is like 40 extra pounds on an average human.
Overweight dogs and cats have a higher incidence of disease such as, heart and lung disease, diabetes and arthritis. They are at an increased risk for complications should they need to be anesthetized for surgery. Overweight pets can also have problems with their skin. Some problems occur more in specific breeds. Dachshunds, with their long backs, are very prone to spinal disease and being overweight can put additional strain on their backs causing bulging or ruptured discs. Being overweight puts additional strain on the hips of larger dogs.
If you are not sure if your pet is overweight, put your hands on the ribs with your thumbs over the spine. If you can easily feel the ribs, then your pet is probably a healthy weight. If the ribs are difficult to feel, your pet may be overweight. If you cannot feel the ribs at all your pet may be obese. Ask your veterinarian for a weight assessment of your pet.
The two main causes of this growing problem are too much food and too little exercise. Our pets enjoy being couch potatoes just like we do. A 10 pound cat needs about 180 to 200 calories a day and a 50 pound dog needs 700 to 900 calories a day.
A popular brand of dry dog food contains approximately 365 calories per cup and 378 calories in a 13 oz can. One of the pouch varieties of food contains 90 calories in a 3.5 oz pouch. A popular brand of dry cat food contains 493 calories per cup and 167 calories in a 5.5 oz can. A large Milk Bone has 115 calories.
In the fight against the “battle of the bulge”, use an accurate measuring cup, divide the total daily allowance into two meals and watch out for treats. Also exercise is vital to everyone’s health.
Murphy Road Animal Hospital will be doing free weight checks on October 12, 2016 for National Pet Obesity Awareness Day. Also we will be offering some free samples or coupons for our pudgy patients.
Go to www.murphyroadah.com for more information on obesity.