Pet Obesity on the Rise, Meaning less Healthy Cats and Dogs
MADISON, Wis. – Big dogs, fat cats. For humans, that’s usually a good thing. For real dogs and cats, it can be deadly.
More than half the dogs and cats in the United States are overweight or obese. Dr. Ken Lambrecht from the West Towne Veterinary Center has made pet weight loss a personal mission.
“The problem is huge; 58 percent is the latest statistic that we go by. 58 percent of our pets are overweight,” Lambrecht said.
For humans, a pound here or there is no big deal, but for an average 10-pound cat, just two extra pounds is 20 percent overweight, making them technically obese. Dogs, of course, vary by breed– the website for the Pet Nutrition Alliance allows you to pick your dog’s breed and find the ideal weight.
Eight years ago, Lambrecht started his pet “Reducing for Rescues, Ideal Weight Loss” contest. Pet obesity gets worse every year, and, like humans, the long list of health problems associated with that continues to grow as well, Lambrecht said.
“The list is long, but I would start with diabetes, arthritis is made worse, just general vitality,” he said. “These pets don’t feel well. They just lay around. Somebody with an 18-pound cat goes, ‘You know, he just lays in the sun, he’s not hunting, he’s not doing any of the things that cats should be doing.'”
And guess what, pet owners? You’re the problem.
Author and animal behaviorist Dr. Patricia McConnell has spent her life studying pets and their owners.
“Unless (pets) can unlatch the cupboard and open up the can of dog food themselves, it’s really all about us,” she said.
It comes down to this — don’t overfeed your pets, make sure they get exercise and watch the calories.
Sound familiar? It should. If an animal is obese, you shouldn’t start a diet without the direction of a vet, but there is good news, Lambrecht said.
“If a cat is just a little bit overweight, or a dog is just a little bit overweight and they’re perfectly healthy, you can certainly … do a 10 or 20 percent reduction,” he said.
Winter Holiday Plants That Are Poisonous To Pets
The Emergency Medicine veterinarians at MedVet Medical & Cancer Centers for Pets warn pet owners that the extreme heat weather conditions can be dangerous and deadly to pets. MedVet recommends these tips on keeping pets safe and the signs of heatstroke.
The Emergency Medicine veterinarians at MedVet Medical & Cancer Centers for Pets remind pet owners to take precautions for their pets during the extreme heat. Each year, MedVet treats more than 100,000 dogs and cats. Among them are dozens of animals suffering from heatstroke, a dangerous and sometimes deadly condition.
Dogs and cats primarily cool themselves through panting. When the air temperature is high, panting becomes ineffective. The normal body temperature for dogs and cats is 100-102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. As the body temperature rises, the animal’s primary organs (heart, kidneys, liver, etc.) may begin to shut down. The result can be kidney failure, brain damage, and in severe cases, death.
Dogs and cats show similar signs of heatstroke. Symptoms of heatstroke include:
- Heavy panting
- Rapid heartbeat
- Vomiting (possibly with blood)
Never leave a pet unattended in a vehicle where temperatures can quickly rise to deadly levels.
- Make certain your pet has access to fresh, clean water at all times.
- Keep your pet primarily indoors, in a cool environment.
- Limit exercise. Don’t run your pet or otherwise exercise them heavily.
- If your dog is in the yard, help keep it cool with a children’s wading pool in the shade.
Pet owners who think their pet may be suffering from heatstroke should immediately move the animal to a cool place and begin cooling the pet with a cool damp towel and cool (not cold) water. They should then seek immediate veterinary medical attention. Veterinarians can help cool pets and provide needed medical support with intravenous fluids and other resources.
Sleepypod Pet Carriers earn Top Honors from Center for Pet Safety
(WASHINGTON, DC JULY 13, 2016) – The Center for Pet Safety, the 501(c)(3) research and consumer advocacy organization dedicated to consumer and companion animal safety, today awarded Sleepypod with 5 Star Crash Test Ratings for the Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed w/ PPRS Handilock, the Sleepypod Mini w/ PPRS Handilock, the Sleepypod Atom and a 4 Star Crash Test Rating for the Sleepypod Air Carrier.
In July 2016 Center for Pet Safety (CPS) published its Crash Test Protocol and Rating Guideline to grade crash protection of pet travel carriers. CPS is leading the first scientific approach to pet product safety and the Pet Travel Carrier Crash Test Protocol and Rating System provides essential guidelines for pet product manufacturers. The test protocol, which is a result of the 2015 Carrier Crashworthiness Study conducted by Center for Pet Safety and sponsored by Subaru of Americaoutlines a consistent test methodology and evaluation program to ensure pet travel carriers offer crash protection.
“The test evidence indicates that Sleepypod has completed ample research and development on its entire line of travel carriers to achieve the highest crash test ratings from Center for Pet Safety,” stated Lindsey Wolko, Center for Pet Safety founder. “Sleepypod consistently outperforms other pet product manufacturers who struggle to even attempt to meet our rigorous testing and performance requirements. There is a level of commitment here that we simply don’t see from the rest of the industry.”
The certification is a voluntary program allowing manufacturers to obtain an independent product evaluation. Products that meet the rigorous testing requirements qualify for a Safety-Certified Seal on their product packaging. Center for Pet Safety encourages manufacturers interested in participating in this rigorous testing and performance program to contact Info(at)CenterForPetSafety(dot)org or call 800.324.3659.
To learn more about the Center for Pet Safety mission, become a Sponsor or to make a direct contribution visithttp://www.CenterforPetSafety.org, contact Info(at)CenterForPetSafety(dot)org or call 800.324.3659.
About the Center for Pet Safety®:
The Center for Pet Safety (CPS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and advocacy organization dedicated to consumer and companion animal safety. Based in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area, the Center for Pet Safety’s mission is to have an enduring, positive impact on the survivability, health, safety, and well-being of companion animals and the consumer through scientific research and product testing. CPS is not affiliated with the pet products industry and does not accept funding from pet products manufacturers. Welcome to the Science of Pet Safety™. For additional information, visit http://www.CenterForPetSafety.org.
FDA to take closer look at pet food labels
Published on: Apr 29, 2016
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration released on April 29 a compliance policy guide (CPG) that explains the criteria FDA will consider when determining whether to take enforcement action regarding dog and cat food diets intended to treat a disease.
The CPG, “Labeling & Marketing of Dog & Cat Food Diets Intended to Diagnose, Cure, Mitigate, Treat or Prevent Diseases,” explains to FDA staff and industry that the agency intends to exercise enforcement discretion over the labeling and marketing of these diets under certain circumstances. The CPG also sets out the factors FDA will consider when determining whether or not to initiate enforcement action if the diets are sold or marketed inappropriately.
Pet food diets labeled with therapeutic claims are specially formulated to address specific diseases (for example, urinary tract disease in cats). In the past, these diets were sold through and used under the direction of licensed veterinarians, but FDA said it has observed an increase in the marketing of these diets directly to pet owners over the internet and in retail stores.
This shift toward direct marketing, without veterinary direction or involvement, concerns FDA because these diets are formulated for specific health needs and may not be suitable for all pets.
In the interest of animal safety, dog and cat food diets labeled with therapeutic claims (e.g., renal failure, diabetes) should be available only through licensed veterinarians or through retailers and internet sellers under the direction of a veterinarian. In addition, comprehensive labeling information and other manufacturer communications for these diets should be made available only through licensed veterinarians.