CNN reports veterinarians are seeing more pets with higher levels of obesity in the last year when compared to the year prior. The reason behind pet weight gain include:
More snacks and less activity - Pet owners are being less active themselves and many are prone to feeding their furry friends' food from the couch.
Walks in the neighborhood are shorter - Many people are limiting their time outside, which has caused fewer walks for pets and walks that are shorter distances.
Your stress can stress out your pet - CNN reports the stress you are experiencing can transfer to your pet and they can mimic behaviors like eating too much or eating too fast.
When a pet is overweight it can take a toll on their health and can lead to diabetes, kidney disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, cancer and possibly shorten their life by 2 years, Dr. Ernie Ward, veterinary food therapist and founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, explains to CNN.
To help an overweight pet, Dr. Ward suggests
- Assess the problem and if the animal has "a lower hanging stomach or a blimp or balloon look" this could be a sign the pet is overweight
- Begin to cut back on snacks and treats
- Add in more activity and start to take longer and more frequent walks
- Seek the guidance and advice of your veterinarian on how to manage your pet's weight.