The Danger of Pet Obesity for Dogs and Cats: are fat pets unhealthy?

The Danger of Pet Obesity for Dogs and Cats: are fat pets unhealthy?

are you concerned about your pet being
overweight or obese are you wondering how to go about introducing a diet
optimizing a weight-loss program for your cat or dog well in this video
series we’ll address the rising problem of overweight pets discuss why we should
be concerned about how we get our dogs and cats back to their healthy weight so
they can live a happy healthy life to their full potential Hi I’m Dr. Alex
Avery from helping you and your pet to live a
healthier happier life obesity is a rapidly developing problem
so much so that it is seen by many vets and pet owners was one of the biggest
issues facing our pet population with the majority of people recognizing that
an overweight or obese pet will have a compromised quality of life and a
reduced lifespan it’s great that people are recognizing the weight issues have
significant consequences what isn’t so great though is the fact that these same
people are not recognizing the problem of their own pets being overweight we
can see this clearly in a US study which determined that in a whopping 54% of
dogs and 59% of cats are either overweight or obese 80% of pet owners
classified their own pests as being normal or healthy now this is clearly
impossible put simply if I lined up five overweight pets three of their owners
would tell me their pet was a healthy weight Pet Obesity is clearly by no
means limited to the United States it’s a global problem with 36 percent of dogs
29 percent of cats considered overweight in the UK and this rises to 40 percent
of dogs and 30 percent of cats in Australia and New Zealand
now many owners will claim that they’re obese pets actually hardly eats anything
and then will often make excuses as to why their pets are overweight saying
they’re just big-boned naturally stocky or they have a medical condition causing
them to be the way they are well if you are really concerned about the latter
then you must consult your vet but in reality the vast majority of our
overweight pets suffer neither underactive thyroid problems or other
hormonal abnormalities that cause obesity and being spayed or castrated is
not an excuse either as our neutered pet population has every potential to be a
more healthy weight we just need to recognize that after neutering our pet
needs change we need to feed them around 25 percent less after neutering and
maintain exercise levels to ensure muscle maintenance so hopefully we can
all accept that there is a problem in general and recognize that despite what
we may think our own pets may actually be suffering from being overweight but
why should we care what harm is there in our dogs and cats being a little tubby
well fact is not just a substance that sits around doing nothing although this
is something that we used to believe for a long time
instead fats presence in the body affects many different functions and so
causes detrimental effects to an individual for a number of different
reasons fat actually produces messenger chemicals in the form of hormones as
well as a number of inflammatory proteins and these molecules either
result in direct impairment of normal body functions or result in an
overweight individual being in a state of persistent low-grade inflammation now
this is not healthy both of these play a role in the
development of chronic diseases such as arthritis heart disease and diabetes and
other diseases that overweight animals are more likely to experience also
include urinary tract disease urinary incontinence airway disease
fatty liver disease cruciate ligament damage and even some cancers an amazing
example of this study done in Labradors that clearly demonstrated the fact that
overweight not obese but only overweight Labradors suffered from
arthritis on average three years before and died two years earlier than their
healthy weight counterparts but another way this means that healthy weight dogs
can potentially live pain-free for three years longer than those that are
overweight as well as living for an extra two years in total
now just think as well that this study did not even look at obese dogs it was
just overweight dogs cats are clearly not immune from the effects of being
overweight either it’s been reported that an obese cat is four times more
likely to develop diabetes they’re also over twice as likely to suffer from skin
disease and five times more likely to suffer from lameness
now let’s remove specific diseases from the equation and instead focus on a
study that assess the quality of life as perceived by each pet owner
there was unsurprisingly a clear difference healthy weight dogs appear to
be much more energetic and enthusiastic as well as being more active and
comfortable than their overweight counterparts obese animals performed
even worse than the overweight ones so clearly as weights increases quality of
life deteriorates this is especially notable because it was information as
reported by normal owners remember a lot of us don’t even realize that our pets
are in fact overweight or obese now a final problem with being overweight or
obese comes about should our pets require investigations and surgery for
other conditions being overweight can increase anesthetic risk and also
increase the potential for surgical complications to take place as many
surgeries will take a little bit longer and be that little bit more challenging
as a result of the increased body fat so how can we tell if a cat or dog is
overweight well thankfully the answer to this is quite simple we have a great
tool to use and that’s known as the body condition score using this tool we can
determine an individual’s body shape and mark them on a scale of 1 to 9 with 4 or
5 being normal healthy weight a score of 6 or 7 would make a cat or dog
overweight by around 10 to 20 percent an 8 or 9 means obesity with a body weight
of at least 30 or 40% greater than is healthy body condition scoring is
something anybody can do although experience does help to allow breed
variations to be considered now to learn more about body condition scoring how
to score your own pet take a look at a separate body condition scoring linked
here and also found on you may have seen breed weight charts where
specific breeds are giving their normal healthy weight range now I’m personally
not much of a fan of these because the weight range is typically pretty big and
that reflects the range of sizes within each breed and they understandably do
not take into account cross breeds body condition scoring is far superior
reflecting the true condition of each individual pet ok so now we know how big
a problem obesity is in our cats and dog population we know what problems being
overweight can cause and how you can score our own pets to determine if they
are overweight or not so what comes next well if your pet is a healthy weight
congratulations it’s important however not to now just ignore weight obesity is
a dynamic disease weight changes with time and we need to ensure that our pets
healthy weight is maintained now if your pet is overweight
or obese don’t worry and in a way congratulations as well because this
disease can only be addressed if we accept that it is a problem in the first
place denial gets us nowhere now you’ve
recognized the problem and accepted the need to act there’s always a benefit of
losing weight and even in those individuals who are already arthritic
and painful a loss of as little as six percent of body weight can result in a
significant reduction in lameness an improvement in pain as for how we can go
about getting a cat or dogs weight down to a healthy level watch our following
video Pet Obesity diets and weight loss programs for dogs and cats I really hope
that this video helps our overweight pets get started on the road to achieve
their healthy weight and for those healthy weight pets it helps prevent
them from ever becoming overweight if you have any questions if you have any
weight loss tips or motivational stories you’d like to share then I’d love to
hear them in the comments down below also consider subscribing so that you
don’t miss out on future content and allow me to continue to help you and
your pets live a healthier happier life so until next time i’m Dr. Alex from OurPetsHealth,com because they’re family

2 thoughts on “The Danger of Pet Obesity for Dogs and Cats: are fat pets unhealthy?

  1. I myself experienced how neutering can have an effect in weight! I took my dog to his annual visit and saw he had gained 2lbs since being neutered 3 months ago.

    He does seen a rehab vet for fitness as we are training for Agility and Rally, so I wasn't sure if part of that was from muscle gain. When he was checked, he actually was a tad bit softer, but not necessarily overweight. I just tend to like to keep watch on him because I like to be proactive about his fitness and health as a future canine athlete.

    So I'm starting to feed him 25% less now and will see where he's at near the end of the month when we next see the rehab vet. Being active, I didn't think being neutered would really affect him!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *