Showing love through food can make our pets fat and unhappy.
New Year’s weight loss goals can be applied to our pets and ourselves. Dr. Deborah lindh, who is responsible for tufts university’s obesity clinic, talks about pet obesity in the university of tufts.
When I looked at the day’s appointment book, I felt something must be wrong. Someone is working in the fitness industry, taking his cat to the Tufts obesity clinic. Did he confuse us with a weight management clinic? Is he looking for a muscle cat or a cat protein shake?
When I called in the lobby to make an appointment, I was surprised to see a strong man standing in a nearly 20 pound cat! I asked if I could talk to him directly. Why does a person who has a clear idea of keeping fit need to bring his cat to a veterinarian? What would a cat say if he was one of those people who helped his health every day? That’s what we’re talking about.
“Well, I’ll tell her to suck it up, buttercup, do some cat push-ups, no more treatment!
“Well, then, I have to ask, what are the obstacles to your cat doing this?
On his face, gu worried, replied: “Dr. Lind, I mean… She mews to me… ”
This is the moment when I realized that I was making a mistake in treating my pet’s obesity. I need to focus on my pet and pay more attention to the relationship between people and pets. That’s literally cutting off the life of the dog we love.
A fat pet is not a happy pet.
Like humans, pet obesity is also popular. More than half the world’s dogs and cats are fighting.
While overweight pets may not face the same social stigma as humans, medical and emotional damage is the same. Obesity in animals can cause complications in almost every system of the body, ranging from diabetes to osteoarthritis.
Owners often say they don’t care if their pets are “fat” – just more love! This is my job, and then let them know there is less time to provide this love. A landmark life study has shown that the median life span of obese labrador people who are 10 to 20 percent overweight – or even less than 20 percent – is 1.8 years shorter than the ideal weight.
Another study found that obesity does have emotional consequences for pets. The vitality, quality of life, pain and mood disorders of overweight pets were worse. The good news, though, is that these values can be improved by losing weight.
And, even under the best of circumstances, it’s hard for humans to succeed – and so do pets. In one study, only 63 percent of the time, weight-loss programs were successful.
Show love through food.
So where is the problem? Is the food too hot? Don’t pets get enough exercise? Is it genetic? Or we just fall for the eyes of the puppies, because they’ve actually trained us (not the other way around!). ? From my experience at the pet obesity clinic, I can tell you that this is all of the above.
It seems that veterinarians and pet owners may be a little behind the curve in comparison to our humans. Research shows that as long as they stick to it, what most people eat doesn’t matter. But many vets focus more on traditional diet and exercise programs than on compliance, or the reasons why they may have become obese. That should be easy, right? The dog itself doesn’t open the refrigerator door!
However, this area is beginning to understand that pet obesity is more about human and animal bonds than food bowls. In 2014, I collaborated with a group of pet obesity experts organized by the American animal hospital association to publish a new guide to weight management, recognizing the need to address human and animal relationships. Are pet owners ready to change and overcome the challenges that may slow the weight loss of their pets?
An interesting editorial comparing parenting style and pet ownership. As pet owners, we treat our dogs and cats more like family. Emotional and psychological connections are less common when the family dog is a family dog. If veterinarians can find overindulged pet parents, maybe we can help parents develop strategies to avoid expressing love through food.