SAN DIEGO, Jan. 27, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Balboa Veterinary Hospital in San Diego, CA is educating pet owners about the importance of pet dietary management. According to Dr. Juan Pablo Romero, pets that are overweight are at increased risk for chronic health problems and a shortened life expectancy. Excessive weight can make breathing difficult and strain a pet's joints. Dr. Balboa is encouraging pet owners to talk to their veterinarian about their pet's diet. Dietary management and nutrition counseling can help overweight pets shed the pounds and return to a healthy weight.
Humans are not the only ones with New Year's weight loss resolution. San Diego veterinarian Dr. Juan Pablo Romero is hoping that this year pet owners will also resolve to help their pets reach a healthy weight.
According to Dr. Romero, pet obesity is a common problem he sees at his animal hospital. Contributing factors include overfeeding and lack of exercise. Dr. Romero is working to educate pet owners about this serious veterinary health risk.
"The first step to addressing pet obesity is to recognize that the problem exists," said Dr. Romero. "Unfortunately, many pet owners continually reward their pets with treats or overfeed them at meal time. While a five extra pounds may not make a difference on a human, for a dog or cat, those same five pounds can mean the difference between a healthy weight and an unhealthy weight."
Dr. Romero says that overfeeding poor quality pet food is a leading cause for pet obesity. He recommends that pet owners read the ingredient list on their pet's food, just as they would read the ingredient list on any food purchased for themselves.
"Some foods may claim to be a great source of chicken or other protein, but be filled with filler ingredients and animal byproducts," said Dr. Romero. "Pets can also develop an intolerance to some ingredients, such as corn gluten and soy. Pet owners should check with their veterinarian to be sure that their pets are receiving a properly balanced diet."
The vet also stressed that different pets have different nutritional needs. For example, older pets may benefit from dietary supplements that aid kidney function or ease joint pain.
Puppies and kittens need high-quality food to support healthy growth. Dr. Romero advised feeding larger breed dogs a specially formulated food when they are puppies. This will support healthy growth without straining the joints.
"When it comes to pet weight management, portion control and exercise can truly make a difference," said Dr. Romero. "A pet with an active lifestyle, such as regular runs or long walks, will need more calories than a sedentary pet."
CONTACT: Balboa Veterinary Hospital 888-667-5235Source:Balboa Veterinary Hospital