QUINCY, Mass., April 14, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With pet obesity on the rise, Quincy veterinarian Dr. Meg Connelly is partnering with pet owners to fight back against this serious health problem. Obesity increases the risk for serious health problems in pets, including heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes. According to Dr. Connelly, many pet owners mistakenly believe their pets are a healthy weight, when in reality, their pets are overweight or obese. Dr. Connelly is raising awareness about the importance of dietary management for helping pets maintain a healthy weight. Her dog and cat hospital, Willard Veterinary Clinic, offers nutrition counseling as part of the clinic's pet wellness services.
Nearly half of all dogs and cats are overweight or obese, says Quincy veterinarian Dr. Meg Connelly. Dr. Connelly says that these shocking statistics, from the 2012 National Pet Obesity Awareness Day Survey conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), are a "wake-up call" for pet owners.
"The soaring rate of pet obesity is directly correlated with an increase in diabetes, heart disease and other serious health problems in pets," said Dr. Connelly. "Pet owners want the best for their pets, but many simply do not recognize that their pets are overweight or obese. Our dog and cat hospital is working to change this."
Dr. Connelly and the pet care team at Willard Veterinary Clinic are educating pet owners about the dangers of pet obesity and how to identify if a pet is overweight.
"A few extra pounds may not be a lot on a human, but those extra pounds can make the difference between a healthy and unhealthy weight for pets," said Dr. Connelly. "When pets are overweight, pet owners end up spending thousands on extra medical care and weight-related problems including surgeries."
Certain breeds are also at increased risk for being overweight. For example, Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers, both famous for their healthy appetites, are at increased risk for health problems, says Dr. Connelly.
"Every day, our animal clinic sees the problems associated with overfeeding," said Dr. Connelly. "High calorie foods and treats, combined with insufficient exercise, directly lead to pet obesity."
Dr. Connelly stressed that prevention and education are the best way to address the obesity epidemic. By educating pet owners about the importance of dietary management and teaching them what is a healthy weight for their pets, Dr. Connelly hopes to reduce the number of overweight pets.
"Early intervention is absolutely critical in preventing pet obesity," said Dr. Connelly.
The veterinarian is also encouraging pet owners to bring their pets to the dog and cat hospital for a pet wellness and weight screening. Dr. Connelly will assess a pet's overall health and make specific dietary recommendations based on a pet's age, activity level and health concerns.
Willard Veterinary Clinic provides comprehensive pet services, including vaccinations, surgery and pet wellness exams, for dogs and cats.
CONTACT: Willard Veterinary Clinic 888-667-5235Source:Willard Veterinary Clinic