Is your pet full? It’s no joke and it’s time to go to the doctor
Obesity causes health problems that shorten the life of your dog or cat.
Do you have one of those dogs who can make an irresistible look when you want a little more treat or food? If yes, then stop giving in to those expressions he makes, like he hasn’t eaten in two days. And this is for the sake of his health, because dog obesity is a very serious problem. The same is true for cats and any other animal.
To increase your dog or cat’s life expectancy and quality of life, nutritional care and exercise are essential. All animals should follow a diet appropriate for their lifestyle, age and activity level. Veterinarian Diogo Azinera, managing partner of Anicura Alma Group, explains to PiT Veterinarian.
“Ideally, we should have two meals a day and should not leave food available. Feeding should take place on strict schedules,” he says.
And watch out for sweets, those extra treats they love so much but can do a lot of damage if served in excess. “Giving five kilograms of poodles Maria biscuits is like eating a chocolate croissant. We have to make proportion to the animal’s weight. Sometimes there is good food, but there are also many extra things, which add to their weight,” notes Diogo Azinera.
Walking dog and cats environmental enrichment
Another important issue is exercise. “In the case of dogs, the ideal situation is to have two periods of 30 minutes each. In cats, there should be an environment rich in toys and games for them to entertain themselves and to be physically active.”
If your dog or cat is overweight, despite moderate exercise and snacks, take them to an appointment, even if they seem to be doing well. At the clinic or hospital, your vet will perform the evaluation.
“When we face obesity, we have to understand whether it is caused by bad habits or if it is driven by a disease, such as a hormonal disease – in the case of hypothyroidism, a hormonal imbalance that leads to weight gain and is more common in cats,” emphasizes Diogo Azinhera.
On the other hand, if it turns out that you do not have a pre-existing disease, it is because your “lack of movement or insufficient eating habits”.
In addition, the majority of dogs and cats are neutered, and this contributes to obesity as it reduces energy expenditure. Neutralization of the animal is not inevitable for obesity, but the animal must undergo a specific diet program”, says the clinical director of the Alma Veterinária group, which has a hospital in Cásim and two clinics, one in São Marcos and the other in Ouressa – Mem Martins, stressing that the best brands It has specific ranges for sterilized animals, which contain fewer calories.
Overweight or obese?
There is a difference between being overweight and obese. There is excess weight if there is an increase in weight of between 10% and 30% compared to the appropriate weight. If this increase is greater than 30%, we consider obesity,” explains Diogo Azinhaira.
And what might be at stake in the context of obesity? Obesity greatly increases the risk of developing certain diseases, such as diabetes and the risk of heart and liver disease. In cats, diabetes almost always appears in cats who are obese or suffer from obesity,” says the vet.
In addition, when the animal reaches an older age, there is an increased risk of developing diseases of the joints and spine if it is obese.
So don’t wait or “let it go”. If you think your pet is “obese”, take him to the doctor, who will see if there are any health issues behind the extra weight or if you need to adjust his diet and exercise.
“Food is understood as one of the pillars of preventive medicine,” says managing partner of Alma Veterinária, which has nutritional consultancy.
Scroll through the gallery to learn more about obesity in dogs and cats.