BY SIDDHI JAIN
An extra treat here, a lazy day-in there, all this can lead to your pet being obese. It is hard to ignore that puppy face your pet makes while he or she watches you eat, but as per experts, pet obesity is a direct result of changing pet lifestyles.
“Pets and pet owners have evolved in the last couple of decades. More food options, reduced open spaces for pets and busy work culture for pet parents have all contributed to a very different lifestyle for pets in the country. All these factors contribute significantly to pet obesity which is very much a cause of concern,” Gaurav Kwatra, Director, PURINA Petcare India, told IANSlife.
The pet nutrition brand, which developed a nine-stage Body Conditioning system to assess pets, has also done a 14-year lifespan study with dogs. Results show that dogs that maintain a lean muscle mass live a life upto 15 per cent longer with better quality of life.
It’s almost a natural instinct to feed our furry companions whatever you are eating. What goes ignored is the fact that, pets also prone to obesity and overindulgence may be harmful to the pet’s health in the long run.
“Apart from the overindulgence, there are plenty of factors that can cause obesity in pets. Sometimes, obesity in pets could be caused by thyroid problems. However, in most cases, obesity is linked to lifestyle and the nutrition intake,” Kwatra adds.
What could be the ill-effects of obesity in pets?
Obesity in pets can not only be highly detrimental to their health but also cause discomfort for them in performing day to day activities. Obese pets are usually far less active and are susceptible to conditions like arthritis, diabetes mellitus, cardio-pulmonary problems, constipation, cancer and even premature death.
Can this be cured or reversed by administering a certain kind of food only?
While the emergence of specialized diets would play a vital role in countering the epidemic, together with the veterinarians we need to raise awareness on pet obesity and educate pet owners/parents on how they can help their pets lead a healthier and happier life with proper nutrition. Proper exercise is also crucial in maintaining a pet’s health and it is imperative that pet parents take them out for regular walks. (IANS)