The problems of overweight in the modern world are increasing every year. Poor food, poor ecology and unhealthy lifestyles have become satellites of large cities. The trouble is that today, not only people can suffer from obesity, but also domestic animals - the statistics is such that almost every second fluffy homebody is diagnosed with excess fat every day.
What caused such a prevalence of obesity and what to do if the pet got into the unkind statistics, will be discussed in this article.
What causes the problem and how to determine it?
The reasons underlying the excessive fatness of pets may be different. However, before you begin to sound the alarm because of the fatty layer of fluffy, you need to know how to determine the degree of obesity in cats and dogs.
To begin with, you should make a visual inspection of the animal: put it on its paws and carefully look down on it. If the contour of the body of the creature slightly resembles a rectangle, whose length exceeds the width at least 2 times - this is a sign that the animal is exhausted. If the breed is short-haired, in such a state they may have pelvic bones and ribs.
In the normal, not exhausted, state from above, you can find a rectangle, the length of which is not much greater than the width, and the pelvic bones and ribs will not be viewed. You need to start worrying when the outline of the body of your pet looks like an oval or, worse, a circle. In this state, the animal markedly increases the volume of the abdomen.
The next step in determining the degree of fatness of cats and dogs is probing. It is necessary to put the beast on its paws and carefully, but carefully probe its torso. If his bones stick out and his bones are well felt and there is no fat on his chest and abdomen, there is a lack of weight.
A normal physique also allows palpation of the ribs, bones of the pelvis and joints, however, there are deposits of fat in the indicated places. Excess weight in pet can be suspected if the ribs grope with difficulty. If the fatty layer is so large that it does not allow us to feel the spine, ribs and pelvic bones, we can talk about obesity.
In severe obesity, the behavior of the beast changes noticeably - it ceases to interest the game, it is drowsy, lethargic and inactive. Habitual entertainment also does not give him pleasure. In some cases, the gait changes - it becomes heavy and slow, and during walking the animal may have shortness of breath. You can make a final diagnosis after weighing a fluffy, knowing the average of its mass.
The main reasons for the development of excess weight are:
- improper feeding pet
- too passive lifestyle
- various pathologies of internal organs and system malfunctions,
- hormonal disbalance.
There is a common misconception that castration and sterilization affect the process of gaining extra kilograms, but studies have shown that these manipulations are only indirect, but not the main, causes of metabolic disorders.
The fact is that the removal of the sex glands in a certain percentage of domestic animals can cause hormonal disorders, as a result of which the appetite increases and activity decreases. However, this does not happen very often.
The most common cause of overweight of small couch potatoes is erroneous feeding, and the fastest feeding of the animal leads to this. Such a violation of the physiological norm entails a number of disorders in the body.
In order to avoid this, you need to know how to properly feed the cat or dog in accordance with their physical condition and age category. On the packaging of a quality product should be indicated approximate doses that exceed strictly not recommended.
In addition to overfeeding, there is another problem - a poorly balanced diet. Against the background of protein deficiency, the prevalence of carbohydrates and fats in daily food leads to an increased deposition of fat, which ultimately leads to a set of extra pounds.
Hypodynamia, or reduced activity, is often forced in pets, since small city apartments, where they spend most of their time, are not suitable for exercises and games. Such conditions sooner or later lead to a noticeable decrease in activity and obesity.
There are some diseases that contribute to the deposition of fat in the body. These include:
- disruption of the thyroid gland,
- diseases of the liver, pancreas and gastrointestinal tract,
- genetic predisposition.
In addition, the risk of weight gain increases with the age of the pet.
The consequences of the disease and how to prevent it
Before you say what is dangerous for animals, obesity, you should first of all mention that overweight is a real disease that can and should be treated. Unfortunately, few owners are able to notice the manifestations of the disease in time and turn to the vet when dogs and cats begin to develop complications.
In order not to be in such a situation, it is recommended to closely monitor the state of health of your pet and take effective measures at the first symptoms.
The most common complications of excess weight in fluffies are:
- the deterioration of the vessels and the heart due to excessive load on the system and the appearance of atherosclerotic plaques,
- risk of diabetes,
- disruption of the liver,
- joint problems
- reduced life expectancy.
After understanding that the pet is sick, you should immediately contact the veterinarian, who will conduct the necessary examination and prescribe adequate treatment.
Often, the animal is assigned a special diet and additional physical activity. These are the main factors that influence weight loss in combination with each other. In no case should not give a fluffy household starve! This can already make things worse.
If the diet contains natural ingredients, you should reduce their fat content. You can feed your pet low-fat fish, chicken or turkey. In addition, lactic acid products and vegetables will be useful.
In addition to the diet, it is recommended to reduce portions of food - the patient should receive food often, but in small quantities. Free access to food is strictly prohibited, but water should always be available.
In addition to the diet, it is recommended to give the pet as much as possible to move. To do this, you can walk with a dog or a cat more often and longer. At the same time, it is necessary to take care of acquiring a good harness that will not hamper the movements of the cat.
It is recommended during the walk to play with the animals more often and to purchase various toys. However, we must remember that with excessive obesity, active load can only harm the animal, so in this situation, you can start with the usual frequent walks.
Danger of obesity
Obesity is one of the most serious diseases, and its treatment must be taken very seriously. Obesity puts an additional burden on the heart of the animal, which causes serious heart disease. Excess weight makes it difficult for an animal to move, shortness of breath occurs, in overweight animals, heat stroke often occurs, which is accompanied by loss of consciousness. The quality of skin and wool is deteriorating, the animal sheds more strongly, tangles and dandruff appear.
The above are only the main problems encountered in animals obese, remember that all this shortens the life of your pet.
Determination of overweight
To identify your cat's excess weight, it is enough to know the average weight of cats of this breed. It is believed that the ideal weight of a pet is its weight at the age of 1 year. Of course, if the weight of the cat is much higher than it should be, it can be seen in appearance, and in behavior
In dogs, overweight is much easier. They have sides, sagging belly, gait becomes "waddle". The dog sleeps a lot, is not active, shortness of breath appears, problems with the toilet occur.
Not all owners pay attention to the extra weight of their pets, and believe that it is not necessary to fight him. Remember, overweight is a disease that can kill your pet. It is better to feed the animal in moderation from the very beginning, because it is easier to prevent the disease than to cure it later. If this happens, you first need to consult a doctor who will explain what to do.
The main actions to combat obesity will be proper nutrition, for example, portion feeding twice a day, as well as the use of low-calorie, healthy foods. At the same time it is impossible to restrict water, the animal must have water. You can also add to the food protein, which is needed not only for people but also for animals or vitamins that will improve the internal and external condition of the pet.
Physical exertion will become obligatory, of course, you do not need to pound the animal, but every day, walking the dog, you can throw a stick or run with it. Such physical activity will also have a good effect on you, even if you already play sports and you know what protein vader is.
If you are the owner of a cat, then try to play it with your favorite toy. for example, a ball of thread, a ball or a clockwork mouse.
Watch the weight and condition of your pet, reaching the norm try to keep it on the same level.
Why is overweight so dangerous?
Obesity and overweight lead to a variety of metabolic disorders. As already mentioned, cats significantly increase the risk of such a disease as diabetes, and fatty hepatosis can also occur. In dogs, inflammatory processes begin in the large joints of the body - osteoarthritis, which has been repeatedly proved by scientists in a number of different studies and observations. This disease becomes especially likely if obesity was diagnosed already at a young age of the animal. Small breeds of dogs due to obesity also suffer from a progressive collapse of the trachea. This is due to the fact that intrathoracic fatty deposits significantly reduce the beneficial movement of the chest wall, and among other things, violate the respiratory activity of the pet.
Weight reduction makes it possible to reduce the frequency of coughing attacks several times, but only in those cases that do not require quick intervention by veterinarians. By the way, for the same reasons, diseases of bronchitis or pneumonia are much more difficult in animals suffering from obesity. The results of even a single weight reduction in quadrupeds with chronic bronchitis are enormous - a significant decrease in fatigue is observed, and, at the same time, an increase in the oxygen concentration in arterial blood. Against obesity, arterial hypertension, as well as heart failure, also develop quite rapidly. In this case, they are also practically uncontrollable - with an increased work of the heart, the blood volume, the number of heart contractions, as well as physical exercise intolerance become more and more fatal. Now overweight is also considered as one of the key risk factors for urolithiasis in cats.
Obesity also leads to serious endocrinological disorders, including Cushing's disease and hypothyroidism. In addition to these factors, overweight affects not only the physiological ailments in animals. Recent research, combined with WALTHAM, made it clear that obesity greatly reduces the quality of life of the dog, which, however, increases if the weight returns to normal.
Why does obesity develop?
Here you can highlight 2 main factors:
- The first, of course, is lack of physical activity. If the pet lives in the conditions of the city, where long and frequent walking is simply impossible, he has nowhere to spend the energy that he receives with nutrients. In castrated animals, the risk of overweight is significantly higher. There are both pedigree and sexual disposition to the disease in question. In dogs, obesity in more cases is observed in females, in cats, on the contrary, in males. The following breeds are most susceptible to and prone to obesity: Labrador Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, Cairn Terrier, Dachshund, Shelt, Call, Basset Hound, Beagle, King Charles Spanel. It is believed that in cats the risk of obesity increases when crossing different breeds.
- The second factor is the negligent attitude (or elementary ignorance) of the owners of the animal to the rules nutrition. In dogs, overfeeding is most often observed, since types of food with a high fat content cannot lead to obesity. Therefore, when encouraging a dog to train or play with special delicacies, be sure to slightly reduce its usual portion of food, and it is better to treat gifts from the family table much more carefully.
For cats, the situation is opposite - the nominal composition of the feed plays a key role in the development of overweight. Foods high in fat will contribute to the development of obesity. Remember that cats usually beg for food even when they are not hungry.
To check whether the dog is overweight, it is enough to probe the chest. Under a small layer of subcutaneous fatty tissue, the ribs should be palpated fairly easily, and a waist should be visible on the stomach, which can also be seen from the side and also from above. In cats, excess body fat is usually located in the groin area. It is possible to lay the cat on a flat plane on its side, turning its back to itself. With normal weight, the chest and abdomen will be on the same line, in the opposite case - your cat is overweight.
If you observe deviations from the norm, you should not risk the health of our smaller friends, contact the FAVORIT veterinary clinic - highly qualified specialists will help you to normalize your pet's condition and make its life healthy and joyful.
How to determine excess weight and obesity
Before you sound the alarm about extra pounds in a fluffy pet, the owner should know the methods for determining the degree of fatness of the animal and signs of obesity.
The first thing to determine the degree of fatness will help visual inspection. To do this, you should carefully look at the cat from top to bottom, when it stands quietly. If the body contour resembles an elongated rectangle, with a length of 2 to 3 times greater than the width, then the animal has signs of exhaustion. In short-haired and bald breeds, protruding ribs, bones of the pelvis, and joints of the sterno-costal area will be visible.
Under normal weight conditions, when viewed from above, the owner will find the shape of a rectangle in which the length is not much greater than the width. The ribs and bones of the pelvis with normal weight are not visible.
Signs of Obesity by Visual Examination
In the event that the outline of the body contours resembles an oval or approaches the shape of a circle, the owner should be alarmed. A pet overweight greatly increased the volume of the abdomen.
The most informative way to determine the fatness of a cat is its probing. To this end, the pet should be picked up and consistently feel her body. With a lack of weight, the bones stick out; fat deposits are not felt on the chest and in the abdominal area.
Under normal conditions, the ribs, pelvic bones and sterno-costal joints are easily felt. Feeling the stomach, the owner notes a little fat in this area.
In the case when an animal has ribs, spine, pelvic bones with difficulty, it is possible to suspect the presence of excess weight. If the ribs and the vertebral column are not felt under a thick layer of fat, a well-defined fatty layer is observed in the chest, back and abdomen, then we are talking about obesity.
Changing the behavior of an obese animal. Pet becomes sluggish, sedentary, does not participate in games and entertainment. The cat has a heavy gait, sometimes shortness of breath develops.
Judging about the presence of excess weight in a fluffy couch potato can be based on weighing. To do this, the owner should know the average live weight of a cat at a certain age and its breed affiliation.
For example, if a Maine-kun weighs 5-6 kg per year, this indicates insufficient condition. The same weight in a cat of the Abyssinian breed is an indicator of obesity.
The most convenient for the procedure of weighing floor scales. The animal can be put on them on its own or stand on the scales with it, then eliminating the owner's own weight.
There is a widespread opinion among owners that such operations as castration of males and sterilization of females result in overweight in animals. Научные исследования свидетельствуют: данные операции являются всего лишь механизмом запуска нарушения процесса метаболизма у небольшого процента домашних кошек.
Removal of the gonads in some pets leads to hormonal disruption in the body. Violation of the production of sex hormones provokes an increase in appetite, stimulates the reduction of energy requirements and the predominance of the processes of assimilation over the processes of dissimilation.
Slow metabolism is reflected not only at the level of biochemical reactions, but also on the physical activity of a sterilized pet. The animal moves less, sleeps more, spends a small amount of energy. Hypodynamia along with increased appetite and low energy needs lead to improper weight gain with improper care of a neutered cat.
Owners, showing care and love for the mustache family member, are often to blame for the fact that he has signs of obesity. The most common cause of weight gain for fluffy couch potatoes is feeding errors. Primarily, an elementary overfeeding of a cat leads to this.
Failure to comply with the physiological norms in matters of nutrition and is the impetus to adverse mass gain. Experts believe that scientifically based norms should correspond to each age category and physiological state of a pet.
Breed also makes adjustments to the volume of the portion. Manufacturers of industrial feed indicate on the package approximate daily doses, which are not recommended to exceed.
Free access to dry food, large portions, caloric intake of food lead to the expansion of the stomach in cats. Overeating quickly becomes a habit and leads to a set of excess weight in the pet.
However, not only overfeeding provokes obesity in cats.
An unbalanced diet is another nutritional cause of the disease. The predominance in the diet of fats and carbohydrates against the background of a deficiency of protein substances, vitamins and minerals leads to the fact that in the body the processes of synthesis of adipose tissue prevail. Feeding the cat with food from the table, fatty meats and fish, sausages, sweets inevitably leads not only to problems of digestion, but also to gain weight.
Hypodynamia is a problem not only of a modern person, but also of pets. Fluffy couch potatoes are hostages of the urban lifestyle. Being a predator by nature, members of the feline family need an active lifestyle.
In a city apartment, animals suffer from a lack of exercise, which leads to lower energy costs. Against the background of overfeeding or unbalanced nutrition, hypodynamia inevitably leads to obesity in cats.
A number of diseases of internal organs is often a factor inducing weight gain. First of all, cats with diabetes are in the risk group. Insulin deficiency leads to impaired metabolism of one of the main carbohydrates - glucose, which is accompanied by pet obesity.
Diseases of the thyroid gland, accompanied by reduced hormone production, lead to the fact that the body begins to dominate the processes of accumulation and synthesis of adipose tissue over the processes of splitting the nutrients of food. Hypofunction of the thyroid gland is a common cause of obesity in cats.
The endocrine glands in cats whose dysfunction can lead to obesity
Various diseases of the pancreas, gall bladder and liver, organs of the gastrointestinal tract can also lead to obesity.
The factors that trigger weight gain in fluffy pets include genetic predisposition. Owners and breeders note that if parents had excess body weight, then the offspring often showed signs of obesity.
With age, the animal's motor activity decreases, which also contributes to the recruitment of extra pounds.
For the reasons for gaining extra kilos and determining the degree of obesity in cats, see this video:
What is dangerous obesity in cats and cats
Unfortunately, not all pet owners are aware that overweight in a pet is a disease. Veterinary specialists around the world are sounding the alarm about the increasing trend among the representatives of the feline species of animals with signs of obesity.
Overweight is a serious threat to health and well-being for a fluffy homebody. Fat deposits are deposited not only in the subcutaneous tissue, but also in the internal organs, disrupting their functions. The list of adverse effects of obesity is quite extensive:
- The deterioration of the cardiovascular system. Excess weight leads to excessive stress on the heart muscle. The heart is forced to pump more blood.
In addition, fat deposits in the form of atherosclerotic plaques reduce the lumen of blood vessels and disrupt the normal blood flow in the body. A cat has oxygen deprivation in organs and tissues.
- Risk of developing diabetes in obese individuals increases by 4 - 5 times compared with their counterparts, who are in normal physical form. The increased content of carbohydrates in the diet leads to an overload of the pancreas and a decrease in the production of the hormone insulin.
- Problems with internal organs. Most often, obesity pets suffer liver. Fatty degeneration of the organ occurs, which is accompanied by the development of dysfunction. The liver does not cope with toxins, digestion is disturbed.
- Diseases of the joints. Excess weight has a significant load on the musculoskeletal system of the animal. With obesity in a cat, lameness is often observed associated with difficulty in movement, joint injuries and sprains of the ligament apparatus become more frequent.
According to veterinary statistics, obese animals live 2 to 3 years less than their counterparts, who do not have problems with overweight.
Diet and feeding rules for obesity
In the fight against obesity, the main treatment is diet. Some owners go to extremes and begin to literally starve the fat cat. To do this is absolutely impossible. A hunger strike will lead to dysfunction of the liver, kidneys, heart, and only aggravate the pet's condition.
If the cat eats natural products, then first of all the owner should reduce their fat content. Fat beef and dairy products with a high percentage of fat are completely excluded from the diet. Feeding with lean beef, chicken, turkey is allowed. Fish should also be low-fat varieties. Of the lactic acid products will be useful kefir, low-fat natural yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese. Vegetables are useful to the fat pet: carrots, pumpkin, turnips.
The medical diet involves not only reducing the calorie intake in general, but also reducing the volume of servings. The animal should be fed frequently, at least 3 times a day, to avoid overloading the pancreas and liver. Feeding should be dosed and controlled. There is no question of any free access to food for obesity. A prerequisite diet is only free access of the animal to clean water.
What kind of food to choose for obesity in pet
In the event that the cat is accustomed to eat ready-made food, on the advice of a veterinary specialist, you must switch to a low-calorie diet. A new type of therapeutic diet should be introduced gradually. In the line of well-known manufacturers there are specialized food for the treatment and prevention of obesity in cats.
The owner must strictly monitor the size of the food eaten even in this case and not exceed the daily amount specified by the manufacturer. It is most convenient to use a measuring cup for this purpose, measuring the portion indicated on the package. This will not lead to overfeeding and wean the animal to overeat.
Increased activity in cats and cats
In addition to therapeutic diets to combat excess weight, the owner must pay attention to the physical activity of a fluffy homebody. An excellent solution would be to teach the animal to harness and walk in the fresh air.
In terms of housing for a pet, an entertainment training complex should be purchased. Its advantage is that the animal can be played in the absence of the household.
Domestic cats love active games and take part in them with pleasure. The owner should purchase various toys: teasers, balls, remote control mice.
The cat will be interested in and various methods of training will be made to spend energy: jumping through a hoop, an aport of objects.
Change in host behavior
An important point in the treatment of obesity is the stereotypical behavior of the owner. In no case can not go on about the animal and treat him with a treat from the table, add food to the bowl after the recommended amount of food is eaten. You should not show love for a pet through food. The best way to take care of the animal will be game, entertainment, communication.
Obesity in domestic cats is becoming a serious problem for owners and veterinarians. Being overweight leads to many health problems and impairs the well-being of animals. Effective methods of treating the disease is a therapeutic diet prescribed by a veterinarian and an increase in the pet's motor activity.
About the negative consequences of obesity and how to deal with overweight in cats, see this video:
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