Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Pet Obesity: RIP Meows


With the recent passing of Meows, the 39 lb. cat, it has brought to the attention of the nation one of the largest health problems pets in the United States face, obesity. Have you heard about Meows? Meows was an approximately 2 year old, Domestic Shorthair cat, that had been relinquished to the Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society, by his 87 year old owner, in late April. Meows came to the shelter weighing in at an unheard of 39 lbs! An average Domestic Shorthair weighs in around 8-12 lbs. His extreme obesity sparked the interest of shows such as Today and Anderson 360. During his short time with the shelter, Meows was gradually losing weight. Unfortunately, Meow's moment of fame was cut short. Meow's passing was announced by the Humane Society's director, Mary Martin, via Facebook on Monday, stating that: "...respiratory distress that Meow was experiencing last week took his life." "...we were unable to stop the progression of what turned out to be pulmonary failure."
Meows at the Shelter
Sadly enough, though an extreme example, Meows is not alone in suffering from pet obesity. A steadily increasing number of the U.S. pet population is overweight. Overweight pets are at an increased risk for diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, joint problems and more! In fact, studies show that pets fed to maintain an ideal body condition score, live, on average, 1.8 years longer! 

Hillspet.com offers the following tips to help manage your pets weight:
  • Avoid feeding table scraps and snacks
  • Stick to the recommended daily feeding guide- it can be useful to weigh out the amount at the beginning of the day, to avoid accidental overfeeding
  • Divide the daily allowance into several meals for the most efficient weight loss
  • Keep your pet in another room when preparing or eating your own meals
  • If you have several pets, feed them separately
  • Don't leave any food lying around
  • Make sure you have enough of the recommended food for holidays, and if you're going away, give clear feeding instructions to the person looking after your pet
Check out www.hillspet.com/weight-management for helpful tools to help you keep track of your pets food intake and weight loss, calculate your pets body condition score, and more! As always, if you have any questions regarding your pet's weight, don't hesitate to call your Veterinarian to schedule a meeting! 

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