National pet Obesity Awareness Month

Pet Obesity Awareness Day 2014Did you know that an estimated 54% of dogs and cats in the US are overweight or obese? October is Pet Obesity Awareness Month. Education is vital to the health of pets in that obesity has such a negative impact on pet health and is almost completely avoidable.

Health Risks

Obesity in pets creates adverse health conditions such as:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Joint Injury
  • Cancer
  • Decreased lifespan

Pets at a healthy weight are much less likely to encounter serious diseases.

Is My Pet Overweight?

Often, the first problem is identifying when your pet is actually obese. Many pet owners think their pet is just a happy, pudgy pet, when in reality, there are obese and at risk for health problem! In a recent U.S. survey, 42 percent of dog and cat owners admitted they don’t know what a healthy weight is for their pet.

Ideal Weight Ranges:

  • Labrador Retriever 65-80 lbs
  • German Shepherd 75-95 lbs
  • Yorkshire Terrier less than 7 lbs
  • Beagle 18-30 lbs

Prevention

Pets need 2 basic things to be within a healthy weight range; a balanced diet and exercise. Dog treats are a diet killer as much for dogs as they are for people. Did you know that a standard dog treat fed to a 20 pound dog is equal to a human eating 2 double stuff oreos? 1 pig ear fed to a 40 lb dog is like a human drinking a six pack of coke! Treats should be given in moderation. In terms of daily feeding, follow these guidelines for caloric intake:

  • A 10 lb dog should have 200-275 calories per day
  • A 20 lb dog should have 325-400 calories per day
  • A 50 lb dog should have 700-900 calories per day

Along with a healthy diet, exercise is vital! Just like humans, a sedentary lifestyle is a problem. Get out and walk with your dog on a daily basis. Not only is this good for his physical health, it is good for his behavioral wellness!

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