Dementia in Overweight Pets?

Fact is pets are becoming overweight and struggle with weight related diseases,  such as diabetes, arthritis, cardiovascular conditions, asthma, neoplasia, cancer, allergies etc.

Now, veterinary researchers suggest that obesity in pets caused by our own life style, may be the cause of dementia in dogs and cats.

Obese dog, Obese canine from New Orleans

Obese canine from New Orleans—Mr TGT (Flickr.com)

Dogs deemed to be 15% or more above their ideal body weight are defined as clinically obese. New research indicates that among other things there is now a link between obesity and mental decline in pets. This means that chubby pets are more subject to dementia and cognitive decline that those pets maintained at an ideal body weight. […]

Keeping your pet’s body weight within the target range for his size increases his or her odds for enjoying longer, healthier, happier years. According to this published study which was supported by the National Institute of Health (NIH) it also reduces the risk of dementia and cognitive decline by 70%.

Source carolonpets.com

 

Why are Pets Becoming MOre and More Obese?

On the one hand it is misunderstood tender loving care for pets, as many people tend to feed not only over-sized portions, but also give calorie rich snacks and treats during the day, feed often table scraps and extra portions to their furry companion.

Lack of exercise and an altered metabolism and hormone level after neutering will very often end up soon in a permanent weight gain.

 

How Can Pet Obesity Be Best Prevented?

Pet obesity can be prevented by reducing the caloric energy intake and increasing the calories burnt per day.

This sounds so easy, but, as you certainly know yourself if you battle with losing weight, it is easier said then done.

A good quality food, best is a natural diet which does fill up and delivers everything needed, so “cravings” can be managed.

Enough exercise during the day. As a minimum your dog should get walked daily twice for 20 minutes. This is dependent on your dog’s individual needs, which are defined through the breed, age and health condition.

Cats that are living in- and outdoors get usually plenty of exercise, but you need to make sure she does not eat “out” somewhere in the neighborhood.

Indoor cats will need stimulation to move around and exercise. There are plenty of cat trees, intelli-toys and similar objects available that can help to motivate them and keep them excited for a while. You can also get a harness and a leash for her and walk her outside!

What Can You Do If Your Dog or Cat Is Already Overweight?

First is to talk to your veterinarian. It is really important to exclude underlying medical problems that need medication.  Also, your vet can give advice about managing the weight loss phases and prescribe even a specific diet for your pet.

Regularly consult your veterinary nurse or veterinary technician at your vet practice. They usually do weight clinics, regular weigh ins and can give you very practical advice.

Start to ramp up the daily exercise, it is your quality time you spend with your pet. Play with your dog or cat regularly, keep dog walks interesting by using a toy (frisbee, ball etc.) or join a local dog agility group.

Stop feeding energy-rich treats and snacks, keep this to a minimum. Have you tried dried green tripe as a snack yet? For dogs it is a fantastic and healthy snack, but be warned, it does have a distinct smell 🙂

To bulk up your dog’s diet you can also mix finely chopped or blended veggies, such as leafy greens, broccoli, carrot, apple and more. The veggies can make up to 10% of your dog’s daily ration. Cats are carnivores, so veggies are not required in their diet.

,

18 Responses to Dementia in Overweight Pets?