Pets, like humans, can become obese and is a serious problem for their health. It is estimated that 58% of cats and 54% of dogs in the U.S. are overweight.
Pet diseases from obesity are similar to human diseases. They can get diabetes, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, heart and respiratory disease, and kidney disease.
If a pet is 20% over ideal body weight, they are considered obese. This ideal weight varies by animal, age, body type and metabolism. Talk to your veterinarian about how much your pet should be eating.
Here are some signs of obesity to look for:
Look at your pet from the top. If the back is broad and flat like a footstool, it is overweight.
Dogs tend to chew on or eat anything in sight. So be careful about foods containing xylitol that could be within Fido’s reach. Why is xylitol dangerous to dogs, but not people?
In both people and dogs, the level of blood sugar is controlled by the release of insulin from the pancreas. In people, xylitol does not stimulate the release of insulin from the pancreas. When dogs eat something containing xylitol, the xylitol is more quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, and may result in a potent release of insulin from the pancreas.
This rapid release of insulin may result in a rapid and profound decrease in the level of blood sugar (hypoglycemia), an effect that can occur within 10 to 60 minutes of eating the xylitol. Untreated, this hypoglycemia can quickly be life-threatening.