Wednesday, March 24, 2004
Protecting Your Pet: Pet Obesity
Just like a lot of Americans our pets are packing on the pounds, what protecting your pets. Health Specialist Marilyn Mitzel has some tips on what you need to do about it before it's too late coming up in tonight's Protecting Your Pet.
(WSVN) -- Just like a lot of Americans -- a lot of pets are eating too much and not getting enough exercise. In fact -- obesity is the number one disease of dogs and cats.
Find it impossible to resist puppy dog eyes?
Ashley Eghtedari, Biscuit's mom, says, "When she looks at you with that little face you feel like you're depriving her."
Feline stares are also tough to ignore.
Karen, Lilly's mom, says, "I'm trying to get her on a diet -- it's hard."
While the proper care and feeding of animals is crucial to survival - being too good - is bad.
Dr. Chris Stevens, Emerald Hills Animal Hospital, says, "A little bit of plumpness is OK, but when you start where you can't feel the ribs ... It's not healthy for them."
Ashley says, "She weighs 58 pounds."
It should be 45.
Karen says, "When she runs her belly goes from side to side."
Lilly tips the scales at 18 pounds - 11 is ideal.
Dr. Chris Stevens of the Emerald Hills Animal Hospital says, "I push in, she has a lot of padding..."
As with humans - excess baggage increases animals risk of heart disease - cancer - diabetes - breathing - arthritis and serious joint problems.
Ashley says, "She tore her cruciated ligament or ACL."
That required knee surgery - her other one is at risk of blowing out.
So what can we do to help our pets slim down --
First and foremost - lots of daily exercise.
A high fiber - low fat diet.
Provide small meals several times a day - instead of one or two big ones.
Plus low fat treats in between keeps their metabolism stoked.
Ashley says, "Hearts of palm, she'll eat, and pumpkin."
Try carrots and other healthy snacks.
Dr. Stevens says , "There's even new diets out there now that are high protein, low carb."
That's what Lilly's on.
Karen says, "She's healthy, she's happy, it's definitely better."
Ashley says, "When you start your eating habits off right when they're little they can continue on..."
Easier said then done...
"We just kind of gave her everything she ever wanted," says Ashley. "She's spoiled rotten. Aren't you, Biscuit?"
It's estimated 40-percent of all dogs and cats are overweight.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Dr. Chris Stevens
Emerald Hills Animal Hospital
National Academy Of Sciences -- Nutrition Requirements
Pet Nutrition Info