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When “Fluffy” Is Chubby—The Real Risks of Pet Obesity

cat-1275101__340Just like the human population in the U.S., a rapidly growing percentage of our pets are overweight. According to The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, approximately 53% of our nation’s dogs and 58% of cats are overweight.

It’s easy to joke about a dog or cat being pudgy or downright fat, but the reality is that when our beloved pets carry extra weight they’re at increased risk for developing life-limiting diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthritis. Another wake-up call is that once these diseases are established, they’re considered chronic—not to mention costly—conditions that must be managed rather than cured.

In fact, your pet’s weight is one of the most important factors affecting disease prevention, quality of life, and longevity. And one of the easiest and most important ways to manage your pet’s weight is through their daily food intake.

Does This Morsel Make Me Look Fat?

Your vet can tell you if your pet is lugging around more weight that her frame and age should bear. You can also follow a simple rule-of-thumb theory that says you should be able to feel your pet’s ribs when petting him. If you need to press in, your beloved is most likely overweight.

But before you put your overweight pet on a strict diet, remember that both cats and dogs must have quality food with good fats to maintain a healthy coat and skin, not to mention energy.

While the right fats are necessary for dogs and cats, too many can quickly pack on the pounds.

Look for fats from oils such flax, canola, fish or olive, or chicken or beef fat. Avoid products with a nonspecific source of fats, such as “vegetable oil” or “animal fat.” You may also want to consider choosing a pet food brand that’s blended specifically for weight management.

To make your pet food choices more clear and affordable, PetWellClinic® is affiliated with Knoxville Pet Food Company to offer high quality pet food at discounted prices. There are several options for weight management diets, and the products are to order online for in-store pickup at our three PetWellClinics and My Pet’s Animal Hospital. We recommend the Hills Science Diet Prescription brand, as well as select Purina blends, and can help you choose the best option based on your pet’s weight, age, and health.

We can also help you decide which flea, tick, and heartworm prevention products are best for your pet. By operating convenient hours for non-surgical care, PetWellClinic® is able to offer substantially discounted prices for parasite prevention products, as well as low cost vaccinations, wellness exams, and treatment of minor conditions.

We are dedicated to helping you keep your pets healthy and happy with top quality products, caring veterinarians and staff, and affordable services at convenient hours. See for yourself why so many people and their pets rely on PetWellClinic and Knoxville Pet Food Company.

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