Mark Twilla DVM
Sunshine Animal Hospital
Approximately half of the pets in the United States are either overweight or obese. The health consequences of obesity include increased risk for joint disease, heart and respiratory problems, and diabetes.
How do you know if your pet is overweight? You should be able to see and feel your pets ribs without excess fat covering. Your pet’s waist should be clearly visible when viewed from above.
Are certain pets more likely to be obese? Certain dog breeds such as Labrador, Dachshund, Beagle, Cocker Spaniel, Basset Hound and Rottweiler have a higher risk of obesity. The risk also increases with age and neuter status. Apart from older doges, obesity is reported to be more common in females.
What are the biggest causes for obesity? Feeding people food and treats and lack of exercise.
What should be done? The best approach is to have a physical exam. The physical exam will determine if there is an underlying physical disorder. Having ruled out a physical problem, the next step is for your veterinarian to make sure your pet is fed a nutritionally complete diet and is consuming the correct amount of food per day. If the pet continues to be obese, prescription diets are used to help with weight loss.
Please call us at Sunshine Animal Hospital 813-885-7071.