Obesity, is, of course, a national epidemic in people. Sadly, obesity in cats and obesity in dogs are also at epidemic proportions, and we’re not any closer to winning the battle in pets than we are in people.
Need some incentive to help your pet lose weight? Consider Trouble:
Without diabetes his life and the life of his owner would not be complicated by twice-daily insulin injections, by frequent visits to see us about complications, frequent laboratory monitoring to ensure he is well-regulated, painful and difficult walking caused by diabetic neuropathy.
These are specific problems Trouble experiences from his obesity. By looking at a larger population of pets we can evaluate problems that pets in general can experience or avoid by staying at a healthy weight.
This study was published in the Journal Of The American Veterinary Medical Association and was funded by the Nestle-Purina Pet Care Company. The 14-year-long study involved 48 Labrador retrievers from seven litters. The puppies were paired off and one was 25% less than the other, starting at 8 weeks of age. The thinner, less-fed dogs lived an average of two years longer (13 years vs. 11.2) and, just as importantly, had a better quality of life, suffering from much less disease.
Studies in rats have shown that calorically-restricted rodents live up to 40% longer than rodents’ usual life-expectancy.
The dogs in this study not only lived longer, but they had fewer metabolic problems, less heart disease, less arthritis problems and fewer orthopaedic problems in general.
Diet and exercise, under the guidance of your pet’s doctor, can keep your best friend happier into his old age.
See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.