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Today is Pet Obesity Awareness Day!
Food and treats do not equal love! Too many treats or overfeeding is actually dangerous for our pets. Overweight pets are at risk of developing one or more serious health issues and this is not what any pet owner wants.
These health risks include, arthritis, torn cruciate ligaments, heart disease, reduced lung capacity, poor kidney and liver function, reduced overall activity levels and skin issues. If your pet needs to go under anesthesia for a procedure, they are at a higher risk of complications or death if they are overweight. All of these things can lead to a shortened life span and most people would say our pets already have too short of a lifespan!
They are a few ways to tell if your pet is overweight. If you cannot easily feel their ribs, they don’t have a waist when you look from above or if they do not “tuck” up underneath when you look from the side, they may be overweight. Please refer to the diagram for help with assessing your pet. There are also general breed guidelines available for weight however they must be used with caution as not every pet follows the guidelines for their overall build.
Healthy treats should be given in moderation. If your pet is on a diet, ration the treats from their regular diet. For example, if your pet is to be fed 2 cups of food per day then take some of that amount and put it aside for treats throughout the day. Alternatively, you can reduce the amount of regular food and add in one or two treats of equal caloric value. If you need help in determining the best course of action for your pet’s diet, please do not hesitate to contact us, we would be more than happy to help with diet counselling.
We all want to have healthy and happy pet’s; weight management is an important part of this. We at Alcona Animal Hospital are dedicated to helping owners achieve and maintain a healthy weight for their furry family member.
Thanksgiving Holiday Hazards
With the Thanksgiving long weekend approaching, we wanted to remind everyone of the dangers that could put our pets in danger this holiday season.
Most people enjoy feasts this time of year, some with yummy turkey. Turkey and the skin can lead to gastrointestinal upsets and pancreatitis. The carcass/bones, string etc. can become stuck in the stomach or intestines and cause blockages requiring surgery. Yeast dough can cause gas/bloating and be lead to very serious problems. Deserts with chocolate or xylitol (found in gum and as a sugar replacement in candy) can be poisonous also. Be sure to keep all food/garbage’s away from pets during meal time!
Plants and decorations are also dangerous to pets. Amaryllis, some Ferns, Baby’s Breath, Hydrangeas, Sweet William and more can cause gastrointestinal upset or worse. Decorations are attractive to pets and may also lead to injury or blockage. Every attempt should be made to keep these items out of reach of our pets.
Visitors can be very stressful for some pets. If you know your pet tends to get upset or hides when people come to visit, it is really important during the holidays to give your pets a quiet area in the house to hang out until your guests leave. Be sure to make the area as comfortable as possible with comfort items such as blankets or toys, appropriate food and water. Cats will need a litter box as well.
If your travelling this holiday weekend, be sure to have the proper paperwork in advance (for example, rabies certificate for crossing the border into the USA). If you are travelling overseas, be sure to contact the airline for more information regarding what is required when travelling with your pets.
If you pet gets motion sickness or is stressed while travelling, contact the clinic at 705-431-5570 and our doctors can give advise regarding anti-nauseous medication or sedatives.