Our 13-year-old cat Bailey has a pooch – and I don’t mean a dog friend. Weighing in at nearly 15 pounds, our aging feline is chubby; in other words, she is obese.
Like many humans, pets can pack on the pounds as they age. And that extra weight can cause health problems.
According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, nearly 60 percent of pets in the United States are overweight or obese, a statistic that hasn’t changed much in the past few years.
According to veterinarians and other pet experts, there are several causes of obesity in pets. Those include:
Being cognizant of your pet’s weight will ultimately help manage health problems, such as diabetes, cardiac disease, and arthritis, among others. Sometimes pet parents have to put their furry family members on a diet; oftentimes, adding extra exercise can help; and many times, cutting down on the number of treats produces healthy weight. Perhaps a mixture of all three.
Talk with your veterinarian about how to slim down your overweight pet – or about how to keep him/her leaner and healthier before s/he becomes obese.
For further guidance on managing a pet’s weight, visit these websites:
Gayle M. Irwin is a writer and public relations professional who volunteers with various animal rescue groups. She enjoys sharing her books and her passion for pets and the environment with others.