Veterinarian Jonathan Ross of Ross Hospital for Animals in Bloomfield Hills says that obesity has become one of the top killers of dogs and cats, and he wants to do something about it. Dr. Ross will provide free pet fitness evaluations at the Bloomfield Hills Pet Supplies Plus Pet Fitness Fair on August 18 being held in conjunction with the store’s 200-cat adoption event August 17-19.
According to Dr. Ross, overweight cats and dogs suffer from the same serious health conditions as overweight humans, including heart, kidney and thyroid disease; diabetes; hip dysplasia and arthritis. While all of these conditions can be managed in the short-term, they significantly reduce a pet’s life span. For example, a medium -size dog that is 20 pounds overweight can have its life span cut by one-third.
“People think that they’re making their pet happy when they over feed them or give them too many treats,” Dr. Ross says. “They are actually harming them. We are seeing young dogs having difficulty walking and cats under age 5 with diabetes. Pet obesity is a huge pet health problem.”
Dr. Ross will conduct fitness evaluations of dogs and cats that include a body mass and weight assessment, and provide tips on early disease prevention and
nutrition information. Vaccines and feline leukemia and heartworm tests will be provided by VIP Pet Care.
The Pet Fitness Fair will also reach out to humans who want to get in shape with free computerized health screenings and healthy cooking demonstrations courtesy of Better Health Market of Bloomfield Hills.
The Pet Fitness Fair will run from noon to 6 p.m., Saturday, August 18. The event is being co-sponsored by Pet Supplies Plus and Better Health Market.
The Bloomfield Hills Pet Supplies Plus is at 2057 S. Telegraph, north of Square Lake Rd. For information, call 248-333-7545 or go to www.petsuppliesplus.com.
Tips for keeping Fluffy & Fido fit
To help keep you your cat or dog in shape, Dr. Ross offers these tips:
- Resist overfeeding. Do not leave bowls of food out all day. Instead designate regular mealtimes with portion control. Keep treats to a minimum.
- Feed cats and dogs high quality pet foods that are low in carbohydrates.
- Make sure your pet gets plenty of exercise and playtime.
- For weight loss, follow a gradual plan, ideally under a veterinarian's care. Rapid weight loss can cause fatty liver disease in cats.