Sure, it's fun to give treats to pets. They love it. But, after years of french fries and pizza, Better Homes and Gardens magazine warns pet owners that old Terminator's belly will bottom out.
Obviously, a paunchy pooch or fat feline won't be as playful and energetic as it once was, but that's a minor drawback. The serious problem is the damage done to a pet's health. Obesity can cause, worsen or increase the chances of a pet getting cancer, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, lung disease and much more.According to small-animal nutrition expert Dr. John L. Mara, dogs and cats aren't living as long as they used to, and obesity may be partially responsible. Mara, who works for Hill's Pet Products Co., says nearly half of the nation's dogs and cats are overweight.
If a pet weighs 15 percent more than it did as a young adult, if its ribs aren't easy to feel, it's fat. A few uncommon diseases cause obesity, so ask a veterinarian about these possibilities. But odds are the pet is a blimp because it eats too much, eats the wrong things, and lacks sufficient exercise - just like people.
It's easy to streamline a pet. Get it on a low-calorie, nutritious diet, and make sure nobody slips it treats on the sly. When there is more than one pet at home, feed the animals separately.