Fat pets a growing problem in animal shelters

“Simba,” a 4-year-old male Pomeranian, is SEAACA’s Pet of the Week. Simba is missing a front leg, and while it’s unknown if he was injured or born with a deformity, it doesn’t hamper his desire to cuddle and play in the sun. To see him in person, visit SEAACA during animal viewing hours and reference ID No. 15-01101.  

DOWNEY – Although you think that sharing your cheeseburger with your pet is a wonderful treat, beware that you can be contributing to a future of complex health problems.

During the summer and throughout the year, there are opportunities to share wonderful meals with family and friends at social gatherings. For pets, however, the risk of overfeeding and eating dangerous food items can pose health risks.

SEAACA currently is trying to place “Griffin” (identification number 15-00385), a 3-year-old pug/corgi mix. Griffin is topping the scale at over 45 lbs. Overweight animals are often overlooked at animal shelters and hard to place in homes.

Griffin is being cared for at SEAACA in Downey. He is a happy-go-lucky guy who needs a family that can not only provide him with a loving home, but also someone who can resist his “hungry puppy eyes.”

Male Corgis typically do not weigh more than 30 lbs. and pugs no more than 20 lbs. Griffin also needs exercise incorporated into his daily routine.

To help resolve this dilemma, SEAACA, as part of its Responsible Pet Ownership Initiative, has created a list of tips to help pet owners enjoy their summer meals while maintaining their pet’s health and welfare.

“Mealtimes throughout the year are special family moments, but they can be a problem for pets,” noted SEAACA Executive Director Sally Hazzard. “If we remember to prevent overfeeding and to use discretion when feeding our animals, everyone will benefit.”

Don’t Supersize Them. Make every effort to feed your pet appropriate pet food for their size and weight.

Please do not feed your pet human food. But if you do, avoid giving large amounts of cooked turkey or ham during the holidays. Humans are much larger and heavier than dogs and cats, and can handle bigger food servings; our pets cannot.

It’s very easy to forget and over feed pets, thus upsetting their digestive system and compromising their health. Should you feed your pet human food, avoid food that has been out of the refrigerator for a long period of time. Pets need to be protected against food that is undercooked or subject to spoilage because of lack of refrigeration just as people.

Watch the Richness. Certain foods can be filled with spices and seasonings, which can cause health problems in pets. Try to keep your pets on their regular schedule with their regular food.

Ain’t To Proud to Beg. As pets become accustomed to human food, they can learn irritating begging habits that can be rude to family members and guests during mealtimes. Try to keep pet meals in a separate room with designated pet food rather than human leftovers.

No Bones About It. Do not feed pets bones, particularly chicken, turkey, and other poultry bones. Bones can break apart, cause intestinal pain, and sometimes choking, in pets.

Sweets Are Not Treats. Candy and highly sugary items can wreak havoc on a pet’s diet. Also, candy wrappers can be eaten by dogs and cats and can result in choking or digestive pain.

Treat Dogs and Cats As Individuals. If you have both dogs and cats, remember that they might have different dietary preferences, and that they need different portion sizes. Use discretion and don’t hand out holiday leftovers blindly.

If you think you can provide a home and nutritional guidance to Griffin or a pet like him, contact SEAACA during business hours at 562-803-3301.



Published: July 24, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 15