May 20, 2024


We share a lot with our pets. For example, joy or sadness. But at the same time, it also comes with suffering. The issue of obesity, in particular, brings humans and animals together. Not only humans, but dogs and cats are also gaining weight on average. Because you eat too much and don’t move enough. There are similarities in the diet tips as well, with sometimes devastating results. Lose weight slowly and wisely is the motto.

“According to some studies, almost half of all dogs and cats are overweight,” says Petra Kelle, a senior physician in charge of nutrition at the small animal clinic at Munich’s Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU). An animal’s body condition can be assessed according to its body condition score (BCS). According to the BCS, normally fed dogs and cats have a clearly visible waist and an upwardly drawn abdominal line. The ribs are not visible but can be easily felt. “So many animals are overweight that the general public has become accustomed to it and even perceives normal-weight people as being too thin,” says Greben veterinarian and dog and cat nutritionist. Utah Wilmer says.

Animals are too fat – that’s why

The reason an animal’s ribs carry extra weight is often because there are lots of treats in between. Animals love them, but for us humans they are a calorie bomb, just like chocolate, chips, and other sweets. The animal may be happy in the moment, but in the long run, humans are not doing the pet any favors. “You rarely see healthy, fat animals,” says Petra Kole.

The list of impacts is long, some of them vast. Overweight animals are more likely to have joint, skin, and allergy problems. The risk of diabetes and even tumor disease increases. If surgery is required, the risks of anesthesia are increased. Being overweight is especially bad for dogs that already have breathing difficulties, such as pugs and bulldogs. Fat also accumulates in your neck, making it even more difficult to breathe. This is especially difficult in a figurative sense if the young animal is already overweight. Joint disease is a natural consequence.

Lean dogs live 2-3 years longer

“Several studies have shown that overweight dogs live an average of two to three years less than dogs of ideal weight,” Kell explains. That’s a very long lifespan for a dog. After all, often the average age is only 12-13 years, so excess weight can take away a quarter of his life. Even overweight cats die sooner, on average, than normal-sized domestic cats.

Whether an animal tends to have a slim or voluptuous body type also depends on its genes. Greyhounds and many hunting dogs, for example, are rarely overweight, while cats, for example Oriental Shorthairs, are naturally slender. On the other hand, there are Labrador retrievers, beagles, pugs, and dachshunds. They love to eat and are never full. And you can tell right away if the owner isn’t paying attention. Generally, neutered and older animals also have lower caloric needs.

“Eat only half” is no good.

But what to do if the animal becomes too fat? Veterinarians strongly recommend simply cutting down on food roughly according to the oft-quoted “half-eat” principle. “Then you end up with nutritional deficiencies,” Wilmer says. The animal should lose weight by 1-2% per week. Otherwise, you risk the dreaded yo-yo effect if you lose weight too quickly. It is best to use special dietary foods available from your veterinarian. These contain all the nutrients but very few calories.

If you have an animal with liver or kidney disease, you should consult your veterinarian in advance, as these four-legged animals require a special diet. In general, it is recommended to check the weight of the animal by weighing it once a week and at the same time each time.

It’s best to avoid intermediate treats, but you can give them carrots, rice cakes, or low-calorie treats instead. Gifts from the table are taboo, no matter how much the animal begs. Finally, there are ways to show love other than food. This means petting, playing, and walking.

feed your cat more often

You must always measure the amount of food you eat each day. In any case, the cat can be fed only in small quantities, but ideally he should be fed up to 10 times a day. This most closely matches their nature. If such frequent feedings are not possible due to time constraints, automatic feeders may be considered as an alternative.

If you are feeding your dog dry food, you can take a chunk of it with you when you go for a walk and give it as a reward if your dog hears the call or walks well. Cats also have to use behaviors to obtain food, such as hiding food or catching it while playing. There are generally many benefits to having animals work for food. It prevents boredom and definitely strengthens the bond between humans and animals.

Cucumber of feeling

You can also use psychological tricks so that food does not seem too little for animals or humans. Utah Wilmer recommends a smaller bowl because it looks like there’s a lot of food in it. You can also switch from dry food to wet food if you are feeding them a large amount of wet food instead of dry food. Depending on your animal’s preference, you can also mix grated vegetables such as cucumbers or carrots into the food. This won’t add many calories, but it will increase the volume in your bowl.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:240216-99-07549/2



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