It's not only humans who struggle with their weight: our furry companions do too! But when does it become a health concern? How do we know if our pet is overweight and what are the consequences and ways to treat this problem?
Obesity in animals
It’s important to understand that obesity is an excess of fat in the body, which is usually due to excessive food intake and insufficient energy spend. Although there are no commonly accepted criteria for obesity in pets, pets are considered overweight when they weigh 10% to 30% more than their optimal body weight. There are several "home tests" to detect if your pet is obese, including the rib test:
Stand behind your pet and gently run your hands over the sides of his body. If you can't feel the ribs as you pass by and you can pinch off more than an inch of fat, your pet may very well be overweight – and maybe even obese.
Several complications can occur as a result of your pet's significant weight gain, including cardiovascular problems, several types of cancer, and other diseases such as diabetes, all of which have the effect of shortening life expectancy.
In addition, obese pets are also more likely to become lethargic, lack motivation, and make less of an effort to exercise, play or be active.