We’ve been talking about some pretty heavy issues lately, so today I thought we’d ease up a little and go over something a little less drastic. Though it may not be brutal and visually appalling, it is still an important issue, and one that has been arising more and more lately. Today’s topic is Obesity in Pets.
Now, I know how easy it is to be guilty of spoiling a pet. Or how sometimes we feed our pets things we shouldn’t, like table scraps or two or three extra milk bones here and there. But there comes a point where doing so, to such excess, is extremely unhealthy.
These days there is a major obesity problem in general in America. We see this in adults, in our children, and now we’re seeing it in our pets. This is something that is considered “Accidental Animal Abuse.”
Here is a list of side effects and risks of over-feeding your dog or cat:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Liver disease
- Muscle and ligament strains
- Joint deterioration
Grooming (Specifically for cats) – Obese animals often can’t reach certain spots while grooming. These spots may become matted, skin may become irriated, rashy, and itchy.
To avoid this from happening, following this list on how much your dog should be eating a day:
- 10 lbs. or less- You should feed no more than 1/3 – 1 cup of dry food or if mixing canned with dry food you should feed ¼ can and ¾ cup dry food.
- 10-25 lbs.- 1-2 ¼ cups of dry food or ½ can and ½ – 1 ½ cups dry food.
- 25-50 lbs. –2 ¼ – 3 ¾ cups dry food or 1 can and 1 – 2 ½ cups dry food.
- 50-75 lbs. – 3 ¾ – 5 cups dry food or 1 ½ cans and 1 ¾ – 3 cups dry food.
- Over 75 lbs. – 5-8 cups of dry food or 2 cans and 2 ½ -5 ¼ cups dry food.
To avoid this from happening, following this list on how much your cat should be eating a day:
- 10 lb. cat – Should be fed 4-6 ounces of canned food or 1/4 – 1/3 cup dry food daily.
- It is also a good idea to feed your cat twice a day. This doesn’t mean giving the full recommended amount of food twice a day; break up the servings.
Fish – Fish eat at every opportunity presented. This is something that in the wild, serves as a survival trick, but in a bowl can be fatal. Your fish will literally eat until their insides explode if you provide them with enough food more frequently than they need it.
If you’re not feeding too much all in one shot (leading to the exploding fish issue,) but are still over feeding it each time you do feed, it may lead to different issues like fin-rot, fatty liver disease, or issues with digestion. It can also cause algae and toxins to infest your tank, making the water toxic for your fish.
If you are unsure on how much food to give your pet, how many times a day, or what type of food your pet should be eating, always consult your vet. They will be able to assess whether your pet is over-weight, and how to fix the problem.