Veterinarian Jonathan Ross of Ross Hospital for Animals in Bloomfield Hills says that obesity has become one of the top killers of dogs and cats, and he wants to do something about it. Dr. Ross will provide free evaluations at the Bloomfield Hills Pet Supplies Plus Pet Fitness Fair on August 18 from 12:00p.m until 6:00p.m.
According to Dr. Ross, overweight cats and dogs suffer from the same serious health conditions as overweight humans, including heart, kidney and thyroid disease; diabetes; hip dysplasia and arthritis. While all of these conditions can be managed in the short-term, they significantly reduce a pet's life span. For example, a medium -size dog that is 20 pounds overweight can have its life span cut by one-third.
"People think that they're making their pet happy when they over feed them or give them too many treats," Dr. Ross says. "They are actually harming them. We are seeing young dogs having difficulty walking and cats under age 5 with diabetes. Pet obesity is a huge pet health problem."
Dr. Ross will conduct fitness evaluations of dogs and cats that include a body mass and weight assessment, and provide tips on early disease prevention and nutrition information. Vaccines and feline leukemia and heartworm tests will be provided by VIP Pet Care.
1. Resist overfeeding. Do not leave bowls of food out all day. Instead designate regular mealtimes with portion control. Keep treats to a minimum.
2. Feed cats and dogs high quality pet foods that are low in carbohydrates.
3. Make sure your pet gets plenty of exercise and playtime.
4. For weight loss, follow a gradual plan, ideally under a veterinarian's care. Rapid weight loss can cause fatty liver disease in cats.
The Pet Fitness Fair will also reach out to humans who want to get in shape with free computerized health screenings and healthy cooking demonstrations courtesy of Better Health Market of Bloomfield Hills.
Tips for keeping Fluffy & Fido fit