Obesity in Our Pets
By Dorothée Pâris Pasturel • 25 January 2021
“I have some extra love for my animal. I am therefore as generous with his food as I am with my affection for him!”
Did you know that by not paying attention to your pet’s diet, you increase their risk of health problems, in addition to affecting their daily well-being?
By overfeeding them or giving them an inappropriate diet, you risk making them suffer from being overweight or obese, and having deficiencies. The following can also be direct consequences:
- cardiovascular disease,
- joint problems caused by being overweight, such as a cruciate ligament rupture,
- severe arthritis pain,
- a decrease in liveliness and playfulness.
A healthy lifestyle, particularly a good diet and regular exercise, helps maintain Doggy’s and Kitty’s physical and psychological health! Here are some tips to help you keep your companion away from issues caused by a weight surplus:
- Calculate the quantities as indicated on the food package by the manufacturer. This amount should be divided into several meals. Do not feed at will.
- Make your pet exercise regularly, such as by walking, running and playing. This also has the added benefit of keeping you active and making you spend quality time with your companion.
- Buy food of good quality. We wouldn’t recommend that you eat fast food three times a day!
- For treats, pay attention to the quantities. If more than one person in the family gives the pet treats, make sure everyone agrees on the maximum amount to give per day.
- Avoid leftovers! Adding multiple food sources will overfeed your animals. Give your pet treats without harming him. A hug or a toy is also a great way to reward your pet.
During your regular health checkups with your veterinarian, talk to them about your pet’s situation. Animal health professionals will be able to adapt their diet to their specific needs.
Just like for humans, good health depends a lot on a good diet and regular physical exercise. Our companions also need it for their health and well-being!
Dr. Vincent Paradis, Director of Clinical Care and Clinical Veterinarian
Vincent has been Director of Clinical Care since 2012. In addition to his position as director, he is the president of the Quebec Veterinary Association of Shelter Medicine.