There is a growing weight problem regarding the health of our pets, and in one country they are attributing it to fast food takeout and booze.

Pet obesity is an epidemic in many industrialized nations and in the United Kingdom it’s estimated there are more than 5 million cats, dogs and rabbits which suffer from it.  The People’s Dispensary For Sick Animals, a vet charity in the U.K., says, “Cake, chocolate, biscuits, crisps, chips, takeaway and even alcohol are among the inappropriate items served by some owners.”

Beyond being overweight, many obese pets develop conditions that can be fatal.

Just like in humans, obesity in pets can give way to cardiovascular disease.  More precisely it can cause high blood pressure.  The increased pressure in the arteries forces the heart to work harder to pump the blood through the body.  As much as 45% of obese dogs have high blood pressure and the more overweight they are, the more difficult it is for the heart to function.

Pets who are fat tend to have high blood sugar.  In an effort to counter the excess glucose, the pancreas pumps out more insulin.  The pancreas eventually overwhelms itself and results in diabetes.  Senior pets are more prone to developing diabetes and thus it’s even more crucial to keep a watchful eye on them.

Arthritis affects roughly 25% of overweight dogs (if not more).  If the joints are carrying extra weight, they start to damage.  Hip dysplasia can develop as well.  There are breeds such as Dachshunds that develop IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease) due to obesity.

Another horrifying condition that can develop from our pets being overweight is cancer.  Though it is unknown on how they are exactly related, studies have been done that support this.

It doesn’t matter which way you cut it, having those added pounds on your pet significantly reduces their lifespan.

“Nearly half of pet owners believe that obesity is the biggest threat to animal welfare in the next 10 years – yet pets continue to be fed unsuitable diets which is fueling the problem.” – PDSA

So the next time your pet gives you those “sad eyes” and starts begging you for some treats, think twice.  There are far more pitfalls than advantages when feeding your pet unhealthy foods.

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