But, if you will reinforce love with a portion of food, your four-legged friend may begin to have big problems. Yes, not only people, but also animals are overweight. At the same time, the causes that lead to obesity in four-legged animals are very similar to human ones: a sedentary lifestyle, mainly indoors, unlimited access to food. But, if we are still able to critically approach our own appearance (to recognize a tendency to be overweight, consult a nutritionist, undergo an examination, or simply limit our appetite to a diet), then animals are not capable of this. Their health is our responsibility, their normal physical form is our concern.
Back to nature?
The purpose of all animals is to be active and mobile. Track and catch prey, constantly be in motion and tension, get away from dangers, protect and feed offspring. What do we offer them? A cozy house or kennel, our soft sofa, a jar of hearty food and “for dessert” is a treat from our table. There is no need to take care of the offspring, there is also no one to catch ... As a result, animals ideally adapted for life in the wild very quickly turn into “plush pillows” with legs. Moreover, the owners even like it: they perceive a well-fed animal as the Hindu god Ganesha with a thick tummy - the embodiment of wisdom and prosperity. Meanwhile, experts in veterinary medicine and animal nutrition have been sounding the alarm for a long time: in prosperous European countries and America, where it is customary to indulge the whims of pets, the number of animals suffering from obesity is approaching 50%!
What is the norm?
The problem of excess weight in animals has repeatedly become the topic of international conferences, scientific articles and research by veterinarians and nutritionists. But their conclusions are quite predictable, even without studying the transcripts: the owners of the animals feed their pets incorrectly, because they themselves have weak ideas about what the diet of a dog or cat should be, and what a healthy life means for an animal. And if the owners themselves suffer from fullness and do not make efforts to change their lifestyle and food, then excess weight of the pet is not a problem for them at all. Of course, until the beast begins to seriously hurt. What is the norm, if we talk about the weight of the animal? In the most general words - normal proportions. Ribs, sternocostal joints, and pelvic bones are not visible, but are easily palpated. The waist is distinguishable. A thin fat layer is felt on the chest, and there is also a little fat on the stomach. Of course, the norms of weight vary, a lot depends on the characteristics of the breed.
The daily feed rate for an animal is something that every owner should know about his pet. An empty bowl and a mournful look is no reason to open the refrigerator again and reach for a serving of food. Often, owners begin to overfeed the pet after returning from the cottage. Animals, having spent several months in nature, often lose weight - they moved more, which is natural! Eat less - hot days do not increase appetite. Weight has only just begun to return to normal, but the household begins to lament: “I lost weight like that, poor thing! There’s one skin and bones. ” Naturally, the "poor thing" immediately gets an extra piece and quickly eats up the sides. Intense walks and outdoor games - all this helps animals stay active. Do not postpone these rituals and do not reduce walks to a boring exercise, because these are the moments of your active communication with the pet that he is waiting for. Toys for dogs and cats are also not only fun, but also a kind of "simulator" that stimulates activity and awakens dormant instincts. Catch, get, bring, execute a command - continue to train your dog even when she has mastered the team well. Let her show her strength and dexterity, this is only good!
We asked our expert to comment on the problem of overweight in pets.
Causes of Overweight in Pets • Rare visits to veterinary clinics. Only a specialist can diagnose the problem of overweight in a pet. Owners cannot be objective in this matter. That is why it is necessary to regularly visit the veterinary clinic and conduct a full diagnosis of the pet’s health status. Due to surgery, the animal undergoes hormonal changes. His appetite may increase, and energy consumption may be reduced. It is important to observe the daily feed intake: • An unbalanced diet. Do not allow children and guests at home to give the pet pieces from the table, this can lead to weight gain, various diseases, and even death. • Inadequate pet activity. Regular physical activity contributes to the prevention of not only obesity, but also related age-related diseases, including heart and joint diseases. Dogs are recommended daily walks 2-3 times a day lasting at least (!) One hour, with mandatory runs. If the pet is a small breed, do not limit it in movement and more often be in the open air with it. • Ignoring signs of diabetes. Increased thirst, vomiting, weakness, refusal to eat, weight loss, increased and increased urination may indicate diabetes. With these symptoms, immediately contact your veterinarian who will diagnose and prescribe treatment to stabilize your pet.