Every day at work, we talk to people about overweight pets. The latest data states that 56% of dogs and 60% of cats are overweight. It is significant because of all the health problems that arise from obesity. Some examples of diseases caused by being overweight are diabetes, arthritis, and increased inflammation. These could to a shorter lifespan compared to leaner animals. People are often embarrassed or in denial about the state of their pet’s weight and are reluctant to do anything about it.
When I brought my golden retriever in for a heartworm and tick test, I could feel the side eye from my co-workers. I even felt embarrassment for letting my dog become overweight. I talk to people about this all the time, how could I have let my pet gain so much weight? Well, it is pretty easy for a city dog to pack on the pounds, too much food and not enough exercise is the perfect recipe for weight gain.
It is time for me to practice what I preach, so I am starting my girl, Ripley, on a weight loss journey. I have chosen to try Hill’s Metabolic Diet. The reason is that I had another dog on this diet, and it worked very well for her, so I am ready to try it again. There are many different options for weight loss diets as not every animal will respond to every diet. There is something out there that will work with some trial and error. Oh, and of course, exercise!
Keep an eye out for more blogs to follow along with Ripley and I as we start this adventure in weight loss, ups and downs, triumphs and failures. I hope that you can gain some confidence in the fact that this can happened to anyone, it does not make you a bad pet owner, and the spread can be halted and reversed with the right motivation.
Written by: Heather Mays, RVT