Aside from a few giant dog breeds, most household pets are much smaller than their owners. That means even though you might not notice a few extra pounds on your own figure, that same weight could affect your pet’s health in a negative way. The average household cat weighs less than 10 pounds, for example, which means if your furry feline gains two pounds, he has essentially increased his body weight by 20%. Below, the friendly team at Perry Animal Hospital in Georgia explains what can happen if you do not monitor your cat or dog’s weight as part of your standard pet care.
Understanding the Consequences of Poor Pet Care: 3 Long-Term Effects of Obesity
Animals who carry around extra weight can develop many of the same side effects and risks that overweight humans do, including the onset of diabetes. Pet owners rarely notice the signs and symptoms of diabetes, though, which means it is typically a silent disease until the vet performs blood work. Pet care for a dog with diabetes might include regular insulin shots and blood glucose monitoring.
2. Joint Pain
A few extra pounds can place a lot of stress on your pet’s bones, joints, and ligaments, which can cause excessive wear and tear over time. This kind of damage is typically irreversible and can lead to chronic pain, reduced mobility, and conditions like arthritis.
3. Reduced Liver Function
The liver is responsible for breaking down fat. When animals consume more fat than the body can reasonably process, it accumulates in the liver. A fatty liver cannot function as well as a healthy liver and may cause symptoms like fatigue, abdominal pain, and muscle weakness. If left untreated, liver failure can occur, and the consequences could be fatal.
If your pet is overweight, the team at Perry Animal Hospital will help you devise a weight loss diet and exercise regimen to restore his or her health. You can learn more about the quality pet care this veterinary clinic provides by visiting their website. To schedule an exam for your dog or cat in Perry, GA, call (478) 224-7387.