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Is Your Pet Overweight?

overweight pets

3 Ways to Get More Exercise with Your Pet

Exercise is a great way for both you and your pet to stay fit and healthy. Try one of these three exercises.

Fetch

It's been a dog favorite for centuries and still provides an excellent way for your pet to get a little exercise. Throwing the tennis ball repeatedly may build up the muscles in your arm, but won't do much for your cardiovascular system. Make the game more interesting and active by periodically running to other parts of your yard before throwing the ball or doing a few exercise while you wait for your pet to bring the ball back to you.

Agility Training

During agility classes, your dog navigates an obstacle course that features jumps and tunnels while you follow along and provide encouragement. It's an excellent way for both of you to get a little exercise and have some fun.

What About Cats?

It's a little harder to exercise with your cat but it can be done. Many cats enjoy a game of fetch as much as dogs do. If you have a fenced-in yard, try tossing your cat's favorite toy. Some cats enjoy a walk on a harness and leash. Training a cat to walk on a leash takes some time, but if your cat likes it, it's a simple way for both of you to keep your heart, bones and muscles strong.

Packing on the pounds is just as dangerous for your pet as it is for you. Being overweight or obese can lead to many of the same health problems whether you are a human, dog or cat. Luckily, with your help, your furry friend can easily lose that excess weight and enjoy a healthier, happier life with your help.

How Can I Tell if My Pet Weighs Too Much?

A thin layer of fat covers the ribs in fit dogs and cats. If your run your hand over your pet's body and cannot feel the ribs, your pet may be overweight. Whether you have a dog or cat, you should be able to see a noticeable waist when you stand over your pet.

How Much Food Does My Pet Need?

It's not always easy to determine how much food your pet needs, particularly if it behaves as if it’s starving between feedings. In most cases, your pet has just gotten into the habit of eating frequently and is not quite as hungry as it may seem. Not surprisingly, dogs and cats need drastically fewer calories than people. In fact, a 10-pound cat only needs 180 to 200 calories per day, while a 10-pound dog only needs 200 to 275 calories. Although these numbers apply to the average animal, some pets, such as kittens or puppies, may need a diet that's slightly higher in calories. Older, less active pets may benefit from a diet that's slighter lower in calories than the average.

What Health Problems Are Associated with Excess Weight in Pets?

Diabetes. Both dogs and cats can develop diabetes if they are overweight.

Arthritis. Excess pounds put considerable strain on your pet's joints and can eventually cause arthritis. If your pet seems to be in pain and moves stiffly, arthritis may be the problem.

Hip Dysplasia. If your dog suffers from hip dysplasia, obesity can worsen this painful condition.

Trouble Breathing. Excess fat in the chest and abdomen may make it difficult for the lungs and diaphragm to expand properly, leading to difficulty breathing.

Reduced Energy and Stamina. Those extra pounds require your pet's respiratory system, muscles and heart to work much harder, which can leave your furry friend feeling fatigued.

Coat Problems. Your pet may be more likely to suffer from skin conditions and infections if it is overweight. Skin and coat problems are more common in obese cats because they have trouble grooming themselves.

Increased Risk of Cancer. Adding a few pounds can make your chubby dog or cat more likely to develop cancer.

Decreased Lifespan. Pets that are overweight may have shorter lifespans.

What Can You Do About Your Pet's Weight?

A visit to your pet's veterinarian is the first step if you are concerned about your pet's weight. The vet will rule out any diseases or conditions that could cause weight gain, such as thyroid disease; recommend the best pet food for weight loss; and provide advice on the amount of food your pet should receive based on its age, breed and any health conditions. A healthy diet, combined with plenty of exercise, will help your pet shed weight in no time.

Concerned that your pet may be overweight? We can help your furry friend lose those extra pounds. Call us and schedule an appointment today.

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Testimonials

  •           8/29/2017

    I love Balboa Pet Hospital! Balboa Pet Hospital's staff is amazing! The staff is knowledgeable, caring and above all honest! I feel confident that my pets are getting the best possible care there. The staff has always taken time to answer all of my questions and if I think of something after my appointment, I can just email! I know I won’t have to wait too long for response.

    Unfortunately, this year I’ve had to make some really difficult decisions. The compassion the staff showed to both my pet and I made these unbearable times tolerable. I am indebted to both Dr. Del Rosso and (the wonderful) Dr. Ravn for their kindness, compassion and dedication.

    If you are new to the area or just looking for a new vet, please give Balboa pet Hospital a call!

  •           6/5/2017

    LOVE everything about this place!!! The people are all super nice & caring. I never feel like they’re trying to sell me stuff I don’t need. The vets (especially Dr. Alice Chan) are wonderful, I always fee; comfortable coming here whenever Walle has an issue. They even help me file the insurance claims after each visit! Would highly recommended any pet owners to see them for their fur-baby needs.

  •           6/5/2017

    My dog has been a regular patient since 7 years ago. Once in a while we visit other hospitals due to time conflicts. However, we always go back to Balboa Pet Hospital. My dog has bad allergy and the doctors and assistants always follow up with us after the treatments or visits, help us submit the insurance claims. It’s not a cheapest place to go but their patience and caring are irreplaceable.

  •           4/28/2017

    I’m glad to have found Balboa Pet Hospital near my home. It’s definitely a hidden gem! Dr. Chan saw my dog, Oreo, for her skin problem last week, and my three cats, Pepper, Tofu and Cola, today for annual check-up. She’s very patient (especially with Oreo who’s shy to strangers), knowledgeable and approachable. The front staffs are also very friendly and helpful. They are so prompt to reply my email (within a few hours when I checked back my mailbox). All my pets are about 1-year-old and I’ll definitely bring them here for their health issues/checkup in many years followed.

  •           5/4/2017

    Brought my dog here for a checkup and some minor concerns. Dr. Chan was very professional. She got my dog the treatment he needed and answered all my questions regarding my concerns. The rest of the staff were very friendly and gentle with my dog. You could tell that the staff are genuine animal lovers; definitely something you want when you entrust the health of your pet to someone.

  •           5 of 5

    Been bringing our animals to Balboa for over 25 years and will continue because they provide great advice and care. We love Dr. D and staff are really helpful and friendly. Now if I can find medical care for myself like my animals get at Balboa...

  •           5 of 5

    I have been a patron of Balboa Pet Hospital for almost 500 years now (wink). I love Everybody there and feel they are have always been a great resource and the BEST support system for everything pertaining to my pets.

  •          

    The staff is very kind and gentle, the doctors are very caring and patient when dealing with my scared cat Lulu. I appreciate the time they took to put her at ease and making this procedure as painless as possible for the both of us. Will definitely be spreading the word. Thank you Balboa Pet Hospital.
     

    Linda P.

    San Francisco, CA

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