It is often reported in the news press that the human population is becoming more and more overweight (obese) and that causes huge problems with the medical system and with the overall health of the population of Australia.
But the same problem is occurring with our animals – owners are demonstrating their love and affection for their animals by giving treats and high energy foods to their furry friends. The problem is that animals do not have the same cognitive ability as us humans and do not see that food or treat as a demonstration of love but only as something nice to eat and once swallowed – they just want more.
You see the wagging tail, the open mouth stance, the look of expectation on your pet’s face and the way your cat rubs up against your feet as a “Thank you for loving me message” but really the message is “If I act in this manner then you will give me more of that delicious food”.
I have dealt with animals on a professional basis for over 43 years and I have yet to meet an animal that can understand English, or an animal that understands that it has the same ability to understand human emotions as the owner does. I certainly have met a lot of owners who think their animal can understand them and I have met a huge number of owners who believe that their loved furry friends understand that the treat is given because the owner loves them.
BUT I hate to burst that bubble!
Animals are smart enough to train their owners very well – they (the animals) learn that if they act in a certain manner than the owner gives them food that they love to eat. So why not continue to act in that manner!
Now I do not have a problem with all these treats if your animal is fit and healthy and is within a “normal” body weight but…
- when I see cats who have their bellies dragging on the ground,
- when I see dogs who start thin at the chest and expand at the waist,
- when I need a forklift to lift a Chihuahua onto the examination table,
- when I have to send a Labrador to the local truck weighing station to get is weight,
- when it takes 3 nurses and a strong man to lift that German Shepard onto the surgery table,
- when I need to sit down and recover after lifting a Siamese cat up to examine its abdomen
– then I know that the animal in question is “overweight” and is fast becoming a medical problem on legs.
I could fill up a few pages describing the problems that these overweight animals can develop – from diabetes to heart problems, to spinal problems, to arthritis, to skin problems, to muscle problems, to kidney problems – but I will leave that for another blog.
Today I just want you to understand that overweight is not “cuddly and happy” but is a recipe for veterinary intervention and huge costs along with ‘pain and unhappy’.
There is help at hand and it is not difficult to get those extra kilos off your animal but it does take conviction and perseverance. All you need to do is the following
- Make sure you are ready for ‘the long haul’ to get the result you want
- Make sure everyone associated with the animal is of the same conviction
- Take a photo of your animal and then find an ideal photo of what your animal should be and put it on the wall or on the fridge door to remind yourself of what you are trying to achieve.
- Write above the photo the words ‘Vets are very expensive’ to remind yourself of the rewards that you will reap when the animal loses weight
- Write the words below the photo ‘Fat animals die younger’ to remind yourself of the rewards to your animal for your action
- Ring East Bundaberg Veterinary Hospital for an appointment so we can examine your animal to make sure it does not have a medical problem and then we can prescribe the best food and the best amount of this food to start the slimming process. The phone number is 41531399.
- Do it today before you forget or before you lose that conviction to get your animal happier and healthier
You are responsible for your animal’s health and happiness – your pet can NOT make the phone call so you need to do it for them