26 Mar Stop The Chonk: Why You Shouldn’t Let Your Pet Be Fat
As pet parents, we tend to spoil our pets rotten, which includes giving our dearest furry companions every treat and food they want. Nobody can blame you; how do you resist a pet so adorable and lovable? Unfortunately, if left unchecked, this can be detrimental to your pet in the worst way possible.
Obesity is an epidemic, affecting both humans and our dear pets. A 2017 research done by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) showed a whopping 56% of dogs and 60% of cats are classified as overweight. And as much as they make great cuddling companions, obesity in animals can cause complications in almost every system in the body.
An Obese Pet Isn’t A Happy Pet
As with humans, obesity in pets is at epidemic proportions. While overweight pets may not face the same social stigma as we do, medical and emotional damage is being done all the same.
A landmark lifespan study found that Labradors who were only 10-20% overweight lived a median 1.8 shorter than their ideal weight counterparts. According to another study, overweight pets are not doing any better in the emotional department either. Overweight pets score lower scores for quality of life, pain and emotional disturbance. For pet owners, an overweight pet may give you more reasons to visit a 24-hour vet clinic in Singapore.
Not True: Giving More Food Means Showing More Love
Now that you know that having an overweight pet is not healthy, what is the next step? Most veterinary medicine focus on traditional diet and exercise plans – perhaps you’d limit their food intake, or you’d bring them out for walks more often. Whilst the relationship between the pet and the bowl is one way to look at it, this approach is missing out on one vital factor: the human-animal bond.
As pet owners, we often treat our beloved pets like our own family members. This deep emotional and psychological bond sometimes get in the way of making actual changes and sticking to them. Such drastic changes are bound to get a reaction from your pet, and if you’re not strong-willed, you’re most likely to give in so as to not watch them “suffer”. As such, recognise your pet ownership style and change how you deal with your pet. If you’re an overindulgent pet parent, start by expressing love through other ways apart from food.
How To Check If My Pet Is Overweight
Concerned about your pet potentially being overweight? Use the following tips as a guideline:
Your pet is most likely overweight if:
- You can’t see or feel your pet’s ribs; instead, the area will be covered with excess fats.
- You cannot view your pet’s waist clearly, especially from above.
- Your pet has a large amount of belly fat, making your pet’s belly sag.
If any of these symptoms can be seen in your pet, it is highly likely that your pet is overweight. Before you do anything drastic, visit your local veterinarian to figure out how best to move forward. They will give you the necessary veterinary tips to incorporate in their day-to-day, or even certain medication or surgeries if the obesity is caused by other complications.
Don’t shorten your pet’s life simply due to the desire of having them look “cuter”. It’s not only the responsibility as a pet owner to ensure they live a long and fulfilling life, but you’ll be able to preserve the loving relationship for a much longer time. True love isn’t synonymous with overfeeding your pets, so be sure to make any necessary changes when needed – for both you and your pet.