Obesity in our pets
To know for sure if your pet is obese, you have to see if they have fat hanging from their abdomen. If you cannot see their silhouette or you cannot easily feel their ribs, it is necessary to take measures asking your veterinarian and starting a good nutritional plan. Unfortunately, obesity affects almost 6 out of 10 dogs, and 5 out of 10 cats.
Our furry friends, especially dogs and cats, may also be overweight due to poor diet and habits, usually related to their owners’ bad habits. In these cases we can openly say that “like father, like son”. In fact, a study carried out by a group of researchers from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, establishes a direct relationship between the obesity suffered by the owners and that suffered by their pets. According to this study, 40% of dogs and cats are overweight; dogs with obese owners have up to five times more risk of suffering from this disease.
The factors that cause it are:
Using food as a reward system. Usually this is used as a method to calm our pet’s anxiety, so they associate it with positive things and therefore, it ends up becoming something more emotional than necessary. Up to 77% of owners say that their furry friends are grateful when they feed them, and almost 60% feel good when feeding. This attitude, which at first is innocent, can cause obesity problems in the future if we do not do it responsibly..
Also, if the owners are sedentary or do not tend to do any physical exercise, in general, they will keep their pets less active. Up to 40% of obesity cases in pets are due to lack of exercise and overfeeding.
In addition, the incorrect routines maintained by the owners obviously affect pets. Taking a snack between meals or letting them eat our food, regardless of what we are eating, or doing it for the simple reason that our furry friend asks for it, can turn into dangerous behaviors.
We have to be aware that our pets’ health depends on us. We recommend to be well informed about what their ideal weight would be, as well as to speak to the veterinarian to know the exact recommended daily amount of food so as not to overdo it, and to control their weight. Above all, we recommend taking walks in nature or any type of activity that keeps our furry friend happy. The contact with natural and fresh air always helps.