Obesity

Obesity
Highlights

Lifestyle diseases are fast catching up with pets. The worst affected are man’s best friends. One can find a number of overweight pet dogs in any neighbourhood in the city. Today, more number of pets are prone to life threatening ailments related to heart, thyroid, bone and cartilage.

A rising threat among pets

Lifestyle diseases are fast catching up with pets. The worst affected are man’s best friends. One can find a number of overweight pet dogs in any neighbourhood in the city. Today, more number of pets are prone to life threatening ailments related to heart, thyroid, bone and cartilage.

Veterinary doctors express concern over deteriorating health of pets and blame it on fast-paced lifestyle of their owners. As a result, canines suffer due to shrinking space in flats, less physical activity and imbalanced diet.

“Obesity is a major cause of malnutrition among dogs due to food intake exceeding the requirements. In many cases its inappropriate feeding, 24x7 access to food, overfeeding of scraps and unhealthy homemade food,” shares Dr Jacob Mathew of Good Shepherd polyclinic.

The nutritional requirement of a dog varies throughout its life and is governed by factors such as age, reproductive status, level of activity and environmental conditions. One must ensure that the dog gets only the required amount of food while maintaining quality of diet or combination of food that the animal actually consumes.

“Common tendency among the owners is to over-feed puppies to produce optimal growth or to provide extra supplements in diet, which could harm them in the long run,” the doctor added.

The veterinarian suggests that one should keep several factors in mind before adopting a puppy –space, family support, diet, exercise and health.

Pet lovers should consult a veterinarian before zeroing on a particular breed. They should keep in mind that a dog is protective about its space, whether it will fit into a flat, an independent house or a bungalow. “Some prefer St Bernards, German Shepherds, Labradors, Dobermans just to have a bigger dog than their neighbour!,” he adds.

There is another misconception that the petite dogs are not ferocious or protective. Flat owners can go for a Spaniels, Dachshunds, Pomeranians, etc and make sure that they do not disturb their neighbours.

Event the flooring harms the health of a dog. Pets have problems with floors as their paws are not suitable for smooth surfaces. The biggest drawback of marble flooring is that it leads to life threatening diseases among them. “A dog sleeps on its belly on a marble floor because of coolness. The change of its sleeping position leads to debilitating bone and cartilage diseases,” says Dr Mathew.

So before getting a pet, it is important for one to commit their selves to nurturing the pet by providing it with good food, exercise and tending to its needs.

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