Just like their human owners, domestic pets like cats and dogs also suffer from the adverse health effects of being overweight – or worse, of being morbidly obese.
Obesity in pets affects them in two main ways, namely, decreasing their quality of life and shortening their lifespan. Both pose several difficulties for pet owners including but not limited to the high financial costs for veterinary care, the physical stress of caring for a sick pet and emotional stress when the pet prematurely dies. Indeed, the dangers of pet obesity affect both people and animals.
On one hand, obese pets have a lower quality of life because their existence is marred by disease and illness, which could have been avoided with good nutrition and an exercise program implemented by their owners. Your pets will be unable to enjoy the activities that other pets of their age and breed can, say, running, jumping and playing. For example, your obese Afghan hound will be unable to jump hurdles like he used to.
With physical limitations, your pets will be unable to socialize with other animals of their kind. Their mental health and social skills will then be adversely affected, diminishing their quality of life. You will observe noticeable changes in how your pets interact with other animals and with the other members of your household.
Obese pets also have a higher risk of developing a wide variety of chronic degenerative diseases. These illnesses will obviously shorten their lifespan, which any loving owner will want to avoid.
What exactly are these chronic degenerative diseases? You will not be surprised that humans share plenty of these diseases with their pets including:
Diabetes – Obesity leads to increased secretions of insulin because of the increase in blood glucose levels.
Arthritis and other bone and joint diseases – The bones, joints and muscles as well as the tendons and ligaments become damaged because of the excess weight placed on them. Plus, certain canine breeds like Dachshunds are more prone to bone issues because of their physical structure.
Cardiovascular disease – These range from hypertension to congestive heart failure, all of which are caused by fat accumulating inside of blood vessels.
Indeed, the importance of preventing obesity in pets cannot be overemphasized, both for your sake and the sake of your beloved pets.