Pets Are Overwhelmed By The Obesity Epidemic: Every Second Is Overweight

Pets Are Overwhelmed By The Obesity Epidemic: Every Second Is Overweight
Pets Are Overwhelmed By The Obesity Epidemic: Every Second Is Overweight

Video: Pets Are Overwhelmed By The Obesity Epidemic: Every Second Is Overweight

Video: Obesity: A Deadly Risk | Body Image | Only Human 2022, November
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The obesity epidemic in our consumer society has affected not only humans, but even pets. No one is surprised by the appearance of cats swollen with fat, which cannot move on their own; dogs with huge bellies that drag along the ground.

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Of course, the owners feed their pets with the best intentions. But few people know when the trouble has already come and you need to seriously take care of the health of your younger brother. Experts told about this "KV".

A recent international survey of 5,300 cat and dog owners in the United States, Great Britain, Russia, Brazil and China showed that today one in two pets (that is, at least 59% of dogs and 52% of cats) are obese. However, only every fourth owner guesses about it. Many people regularly monitor their weight, while 40% of pet owners do not know how much their cats and dogs weigh, and 22% have never weighed their animals.

Meanwhile, overweight in a pet leads to the development of more than 20 different diseases, including cardiovascular, diabetes, diseases of the musculoskeletal system, etc. “Overweight is primarily a problem with the digestive tract and joints. This is where behavioral problems come from. For example, if an animal has problems with joints, it hurts and does not want to move, and the decrease in activity affects the fact that the weight increases even more,”says veterinarian, specialist in zoopsychology Alexandra Alexandrova.

According to the veterinarian Daria Zheltysheva, not every owner is able to suspect the first signs of obesity in a cat or dog. People, on the contrary, rejoice at their well-fed cheeks and sincerely lament if the ribs of the animal are felt. “The process of fat accumulation is invisible. However, when the fat fills the animal by one third, the diagnosis of obesity is made,”says Dr. Zheltysheva.

In fact, veterinarians have developed a scoring system for the body condition of a pet. Much depends on the type of pet, breed. And yet there are basic criteria. The ribs should be felt. They do not have to be visible (although for a hound it is necessary), but they must be felt - all of them. In addition, both the dog and the cat must have a waist.

If the ribs are difficult to see or feel, the waist does not stand out, this indicates excess weight. If the ribs are not groped and there is no waist, your pet is obese. Just think. An increase of one kilogram for a 4 kg cat is about the same as if a 65 kg person adds 16 kg. A mere 60 grams of cheese for a cat a day increases the calorie content of their diet by 23% (it's like a person eats two donuts). But just 30 grams of ham increases the calorie content of the pet's diet by 123% (that's 12 donuts per person per day).

The same survey showed that feeding remains the main manifestation of the owner's love for the animal, and this easily leads to the animal consuming more calories than necessary. 59% of the respondents said they feel positive emotions when they feed the animal, and 77% - that the animal is very happy when it receives food. However, most owners do not fully understand the consequences of overfeeding. 61% of those surveyed were unaware of the increased risk of developing diabetes and orthopedic disorders in overweight animals, and 53% did not understand that the risk of heart disease was increased.

- Remember that animals do not have compulsive overeating. But the owners very often, instead of playing with an animal that requires attention, strive to feed them, - says Daria Zheltysheva.

The survey also showed that more than half of cat and dog owners always or often give food to animals every time they ask for it (54%); almost a quarter (22%) of cat and dog owners sometimes overfeed their animals to “please” them; only 20% of owners always measure the amount of food they give their pets. 87% of owners always or often give animals as much feed as it seems to them "by eye". As Alexandra Alexandrova notes, this is fraught with serious problems not only with health, but also with the behavior of the animal: “The fact is that constantly pampering pets with delicious food, the owners often unconsciously form their dependent eating behavior. And then the animals are ready to eat around the clock and around the clock to demand food, because this is the only way they can calm themselves and the only way to feel comfortable."

But the owners have a very vague idea of ​​how often and in what quantities to feed the animal. Alexandra Aleksandrova believes that, first of all, it is worth considering what type of food you have chosen for your pet: “If you think that feeding with natural food is much more useful than industrial food, then this is an illusion. After all, it is much more difficult to independently compose a menu for a pet in such a way as to properly balance all nutrients, vitamins and minerals than even developing a diet for an Olympic athlete. Domestic animals are far from omnivorous, and their standard of living depends on food quite strongly. If you chose ready-made feed, then everything is simpler - manufacturers not only keep the balance of everything necessary, but also take into account a lot of important parameters, for example, the age of the animal and even its breed. In addition, today there are foods designed specifically for overweight animals."

If the animal is overweight, you need to contact your veterinarian. Most likely, the dog or cat will be prescribed a diet and activity regimen (ideally walking with the animal for 2-3 hours daily). In addition, today there are treadmills and even swimming pools for our smaller brothers. It would be good to check such an animal for diabetes. For a long time, there are no symptoms with him, and the animal cannot complain.

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