Obesity is a common problem in pets. In fact, it's estimated that about 30-40 percent of pets are overweight. However, it's often difficult for pet owners to recognize that their pets are overweight until taken in for a veterinary assessment. Pets gain weight for the same reason as humans do: eating more calories than they burn. As pets age, their metabolism often slows down, which means they generally require less food but often continue to eat the amount they have grown accustomed to. Here are a few signs that your pet may be overweight and should be examined at Integrative Veterinary Wellness in Richardson to see if your pet needs weight loss management.
Being overweight can affect your pet's respiratory function, so if you notice your pet struggling to breathe, especially after short periods of exercise, it's best to take it to our animal hospital for an exam. If your pet's weight is affecting its respiratory function, he or she might experience excessive snoring while sleeping. This is especially common in pets that are obese because the back of their throat may have excess fat, which causes breathing issues.
If your pet is at a good weight, their ribs shouldn't be visible through the skin, but they are generally easy to feel under the skin. An easy way to tell if your pet is overweight is by appearance. For instance, an animal's chest is typically wider than the waist area. If your pet's waist is wider than its chest, this is an obvious sign of him or her being overweight.
If your pet previously jumped on the sofa or bed without difficulties but is now struggling to hop up next to you, he or she may be overweight. It's important to watch how your pet walks. If you notice your pet waddling or sticking its legs out when walking, this may be a sign of obesity.
The ideal weights for pets vary depending on their breed and age. So, the best way to determine the ideal weight for your pet is by visiting our veterinarians for a professional exam. If you are searching for a "veterinarian near me," contact Integrative Veterinary Wellness to schedule an exam. We can provide your animal the pet weight loss management it needs to live a long and healthy life.