Health problems with Pet Obesity
Obesity is can be a problem in both pets and people. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) states “that over 50 percent of all pets in the United States is overweight or obese. That is a significant percentage because that works out to about 89 million cats and dogs.
Obesity leads to a significant number of health problems such as muscular-skeletal abnormalities, endocrine imbalance, cardiovascular disease, dermatological abnormalities, cancer and more.
Obesity is the number one nutritional disease in pets. When you ask a pet owner what they think is the number one cause of nutritional disease in cats and dogs, they do not mention obesity. They usually refer to malnutrition, vitamin and mineral imbalance.
Commercially available pet foods are the diet of choice for American households. The processed pet foods are the main reason why pets become overweight. Pet owners live in fear of nutritional imbalance in their pets. They will use commercial pet food that has real meat, vegetables, fruit and grain like humans eat. These highly processed foods contain ingredients vastly different from those that appear in natural food form for most canine and feline companions.
Pet owners have been studying to provide more natural food and treats for their domestic animals, in battling the nutritional imbalance. The problem is that they are providing a calory surplus that their pets cannot burn off.
Let’s look at the obesity health problems that you pet may incur while being overweight.
When any animal is overweight, they create stress on all their joint, ligaments, and tendons. This leads to damage and inflammation to your pet’s joints and causes arthritis. If arthritis is left untreated, it will lead to degenerative joint disease (DJD) and deform the cartilage surface. Obese pets are more prone to muscular skeletal injuries.
The endocrine system is a network of glands and hormones to help balance the bodies ability to function normal (digestion, immune system response, metabolism, and water balance). The two most common endocrine diseases that domestic animals endure is diabetes and hypothyroidism. Most cats get diabetes and dogs tend to get hypothyroidism.
The cardiovascular system is a system of the heart, veins, and arteries that supply blood throughout the body. When your pet is overweight, the cardiac system has trouble providing nutrients and oxygen to all parts of the body. This leads to high blood pressure, loss of circulation and heart failure.
When our pets become overweight they tend to have skin folds. These skin folds can collect bacteria and yeast. Eventually leading to dermatitis and hot-spots. Obese pets have a hard time grooming themselves.
Being overweight or obese has a well docummented coorelation to canine bladder and mammory cancer. Inflammation from the stresses of the excess weight will bring in a great enviroment for cancer to develop. In additionally Omega-6 fatty acids from animal fats tend to promote inflamation in the body and are linked to cancer cells.
The good news is obesity is preventable and all we have to do is restrict the calories given to our pets. To help reduce your pets weight is to reduce their portions by a quarter to a third of what they normally get. Instead of giving our pets food as a reward, we should change to praises and socialization with activities. The last thing provide natural foods instead of commercially processed foods.