QUINCY, Mass., Oct. 14, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dr. Meg Connelly of the Willard Veterinary Clinic joined thousands of other veterinarians across the country on Wednesday, October 10 to compile pet obesity data during the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention's sixth annual Pet Obesity Awareness Day. According to the Quincy veterinarian, last year's study showed that 53 percent of the nation's dogs and 55 percent of the nation's cats were classified as somewhere between overweight and obese by their veterinarians. The pet vet explains that overweight pets suffer higher risks for diabetes, joint and musculoskeletal injuries, heart, liver and kidney diseases and a shorter life expectancy.
Dr. Connelly urges pet owners to take their pets' weight seriously. "When people bring their pets into our Quincy pet veterinary care center for a checkup, we always assess their weight situation. The trend seems to be getting worse—more and more of my patients are at risk for suffering diabetes, hypertension, sprains and strains, etc. because they are overweight. When they reach and maintain a healthy weight, their disease risks and current conditions improve enormously. As a pet veterinarian, helping pets lose weight is one of the most important preventative care services we can provide today."
Dr. Connelly, who is a Milton native, says that diet is one of the biggest problems facing pets. She explains that just ten extra kibbles a day for a 9-pound cat will add one extra pound annually. She says that the same cat would be considered medically obese with just two extra pounds. She cites a study demonstrating how healthy-weight cats live, on average, about two years longer than their overweight counterparts. According to Dr. Connelly, dogs can also easily gain too much weight if they eat more calories than they burn. She recommends that pet owners stop leaving food out all day for their pets, and strictly control their calorie intake. She adds that cats feel fuller on fewer calories with canned food than dry food. Dr. Connelly often recommends prescription diets for overweight pets visiting her veterinary clinic in Quincy.
The veterinarian also says that most pets do not get enough exercise. She says that indoor cats and dogs, particularly those living in smaller apartments, are the most sedentary. She urges families with pets to exercise more, and suggests people visit the Ohio State University Indoor Pet Initiative website for ways pet owners can help their indoor pets get more exercise and mental stimulation while inside.
Veterinarian Dr. Connelly recommends that pet owners schedule an appointment to have their pets' weight assessed. "You can add years to your pet's life—healthy, quality years—just by keeping them at a healthy weight."
Willard Veterinary Clinic is a full-service South Shore dog and cat hospital providing pet services such as pet vaccinations, pet meds, dental care and spay and neuter surgeries. Their website is http://willardvet.com.
Willard Veterinary Clinic 888-667-5235