As any good paw-rent can tell you, being the keeper of a fur-baby isn’t always easy. You want to make sure they’re happy, well-fed and entertained. In a society where people are having less children, pets are taking their spots and it is much easier to spoil them. However, like children, pets are also at risk for obesity.
It is estimated that 54 percent of pets in the US are obese. This puts them at a higher risk for medical related illnesses, such as:
- Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart and Respiratory Disease
- Cranial Cruciate Ligament Injury
- Kidney Disease
- Many Forms of Cancer
- Decreased life expectancy (up to 2.5 years)
Limiting your pet’s diet might be easier if it is a dog. Dogs are typically happy as long as someone’s there to play or cuddle. It’s cat owners that seem to struggle the most when addressing issues of obesity with their cat overlords. A recent New York Times article points out a number of fears that cat owners have when trying to correct their pet’s diet. Many owners fear it will lead to increased aggression, depression and vindictiveness.
According to the Journal of Veterinary Behavior, however, many owners reported that their cats were actually more affectionate after limiting their diets. So, take a deep breath and feel confident, knowing your dog or cat won’t hate you if their diet starts to tighten up a bit. They’ll thank you in the long run.