Veterinarians Cite More Factors Contributing To Pet Obesity
Fitness is also essential in an animal’s life. Therefore, veterinarians emphasize pet owners to make themselves aware of pet obesity. Aside from diet, various factors contribute to animals getting overweight. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention tallied that 58 percent of cats and 53 percent of dogs in the US are obese. These numbers continue to alarm pet owners and animal experts because pet obesity could cause other health complications. However, experts discovered that pet obesity does not only happen because of animal diet. They said that other bodily changes and specific procedures could also affect body weight. Canna-Pet, a manufacturer of organic animal products, shared that one of the contributory factors to pet obesity is old age. Because bone and joint strength changes as animals age, movement in old pets are limited. The lack of energy also slows down metabolism, causing food to break down slower. The company added that illnesses such as hypothyroidism, hyperadrenocorticism, and insulinoma also increases the risks of animals getting obese. These diseases cause the underproduction and overproduction of hormones crucial to metabolism. Meanwhile, the American Animal Hospital Association said that surgical procedures such as spaying and neutering are also vital factors to pet obesity. Pets who get spayed or neutered also have a slow metabolism and hormonal changes. Any excess intake of food might cause them to gain weight over time. Just like in humans, obesity in animals complicates their health. Dr. Audrey Cook from the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biochemical Sciences advised pet owners to consult a veterinarian for diet options. This way, pet owners could plan better food options to keep their pets healthy. The doctors could also recommend an exercise routine for overweight animals. In connection to diet, pet care firm, Doctors Foster and Smith recommended limiting treats and table scraps because these have additional, unwanted calories. For young dogs, constant weight monitoring is crucial because they have a higher risk of getting overweight when they grow older. Lastly, the company said that owners should let veterinarians check and treat contributing factors to obesity. They added that any unexplained change in their pet’s eating habits and health should have urgent action.