The Importance of Healthy Weight in Our Pets-Advanced Veterinary Care of San Elijo
Obesity is one of the most common chronic health conditions that veterinarians identify in American pets. Chronic excess weight is linked to a number of serious and costly health problems in pets. These problems are uncomfortable for the pet, can be expensive for the owner to manage, and can significantly decrease a pet’s longevity and wellness. In fact, studies have shown that being chronically overweight can decrease a pet’s lifespan by up to 20%!
Excess fat not only puts additional strain on the supportive structures of the body (bone, cartilage, and soft tissues), but it actually leads to systemic chronic inflammation. Fat is an active, dynamic tissue which secretes proteins and hormones into the body known as adipokines. These adipokines regulate energy homeostasis, metabolism, and insulin sensitivity, as well as immune and cardiovascular functions. In cases of excess weight and/or obesity, adipokines begin to have detrimental effects which lead to chronic body-wide inflammation. This inflammatory state can cause or exacerbate many wellness and longevity impacting conditions in the body:
Joint Problems and Arthritis
Cardiovascular Conditions and Heart Disease
Immune System Problems and Endocrine Disorders
Determining if your Pet is Overweight
How do you know if your pet is “overweight”? Experts believe that a pet is overweight to obese if they weigh 10%-20% more than their “ideal” weight. It is important to note, that this could be a matter of a couple pounds if your pet is small (1-2 pounds for a 10 pound dog or cat) and only five pounds in a 50lb dog!