Saturday, November 26, 2011

Fat Pets are Abused Pets

Some people love to brag about their fat pet. They flaunt the picture of their chubby chihuahua or porky Persian as if rolls of skin were a sign of affection. Food does not equal love, too much food equals abuse, and a fat pet is a sign of a pet that is fed too much and exercised too little.

Not only can cats and dogs suffer from obesity, so can other pets, ponies not only get fat but if overfed they can get founder which may cripple them for life. Although many people do not realize it, snakes are often fed more than they need, and can be “fat”.

Neutering is commonly blamed for making a pet fat, but in reality overfeeding, and lack of exercise are the real cause. The problem is made worse when the pet gets so fat it often suffers from heart problems and joint pain making it less willing to exercise.

photo source
A fat pet is only slightly excusable; it is easy for a pet to put on a few pounds and for the owner not to notice, but obesity is not excusable. If a pet reaches such levels that it waddles around like a seal, this is a case of abuse, and allowing a pet to be in such a condition can result in prosecution under animal cruelty. In fact 2 brothers in England were charged with such a crime in 2006 when they allowed their chocolate lab, Rusty, to become so obese he moved like a seal.

While you do not want to see ribs and hip bones sticking out of a pet, if you cannot feel ribs then your pet is fat.

Pets become fat because their owners equate food with love, they overfeed the pet because they feel guilty. Dogs become fat because it is their nature to eat everything they can, they do not regulate their intake, they live as though every meal may be their last. Cats become obese for different reasons, while most cats regulate how much they eat, many cat foods skimp on quality ingredients and use fattening ones instead. "Chunks in gravy" = fattening.  Where in nature would a dog or cat going to find gravy?  Get real!

If your pet is fat you need to start increasing the amount of exercise the pet gets, and decreasing the amount of food it gets (gradually - crash dieting can be dangerous). With cats it is very important to feed a better quality food, one with less carbohydrates, after all cats are carnivores, the carbs used as filler in cheap foods are what make them fat.

There is no excuse for having an obese pet. No excuse for not walking a dog once or twice a day, no excuse for not playing with your cat – they love honey suckle toys by the way! If your pet is fat it is your fault you need to start looking after it and not smothering it with calories.

Oh sure you might try to use the “Thyroid condition" as an excuse, but a thyroid condition is no excuse for overfeeding it, or not exercising it, if the pet has a thyroid condition talk to the vet and give the pet more exercise to balance the issue.

If your pet is fat get up off your lazy ass and do something about it. You are not showing your pet love by giving it treats, or too much food, you are killing it, shortening its lifespan, making it sick.  Your pet needs better care, you need to deal with it.

*Note obese pets can become diabetic.

How to Put your Cat on a Diet