Pet owners may have a distorted view of their pet’s health when it comes to how much they should weigh.
In fact, about 75% of pets are overweight and at least 50% are considered obese, according to veterinarian, Gavin Rippon.
The reason behind this epidemic is usually due to the commonality of the issue. That is, so many pets are overweight that a healthy weight seems abnormal. So, when people are told that their dog looks too skinny, a worried owner goes into panic mode and increases their dog’s diet. Who wants to look like they neglect their pet?
Owners also tend to feed their pet throughout the day, thinking that since they are hungry, and snack continuously, so should their fury counterpart. However, animals are not used to eating throughout the day. They do not have the same hunger cravings or use the same amount of energy as humans. They are perfectly content, and are recommended, to eat meals only twice a day.
Plus, human eating habits are often controlled by emotions. These emotions are projected through our pets. When they are happy, it makes us happy. So, why not give them a treat so they wag their tail and feel loved?
It is also common to see unhealthy eating and exercise habits both in the pet and the pet owner’s whole family. A pet relies on their owner to get exercise and eats whenever they are fed, so their weight is co-dependent on the discretion of a human’s decisions.
The result is health problems like diabetics, thyroid imbalances, and arthritis. This can take time off the healthy years of a pet’s life and result in costly vet bills.
Pet owners must realize there is an issue first by listening to their veterinarian’s recommended weight target. They should not feel ashamed if their dog is skinner than the neighbor’s; they should feel proud. And most importantly, but often difficult, they have to fix their own unhealthy lifestyle. Working on your pet’s health could be the catalyst to think about your choices and make a great leap for the sake of your health and your loved ones.