BERKELEY, Calif., July 14, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Half of all pets in the United States are overweight or obese – and weight management problems are also affecting pets in Berkeley, warns veterinarian Dr. Jas Mattu. In partnership with University Veterinary Hospital, Dr. Mattu is raising awareness about the dangers of obesity in pets and working to stop the epidemic. The veterinarian recommends pet owners schedule regular weight management consultations with their local animal hospital to proactively address potential weight problems head-on. A change in diet, fewer treats, smaller portion sizes and increased activity can help pets safely lose weight.
Dr. Jas Mattu, a veterinarian with University Veterinary Hospital is warning pet owners about the dangers of pet obesity. According to Dr. Mattu, pet obesity is a growing problem, compromising the health for hundreds of pets each year.
"Pet obesity is a serious, clinical issue," said Dr. Mattu. "Pets that are overweight or obese are at increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, mobility problems, and ultimately an early death."
Overfeeding is a leading cause for pet obesity in Berkeley pets, says Dr. Mattu. The veterinarian warns that pet owners frequently over-estimate how much food their pets require on a daily basis.
"The feeding guidelines on the back of pet food are general recommendations for active pets," said Dr. Mattu. "However, not all pets require as much food as the guidelines indicate. Additionally, pet owners must take into account the caloric content of treats. Some treats can add up to more calories than a standard food serving."
In addition to overfeeding, Dr. Mattu says that some commercial pet foods are closer to junk food than an actual healthy meal. This can lead to weight gain and nutrient deficiencies in pets.
"Many commercial pet foods are packed with fillers and additives that add calories to the food without adding nutritional value," said Dr. Mattu. "Just like the processed food that people eat, processed pet food can range significantly in nutritional value. If pet owners are not sure about their pet's food quality, a veterinarian can make specific recommendations to ensure pets receive the right balance of nutrients."
Dr. Mattu is encouraging pet owners to proactively monitor their pet's diet and activity levels in an effort to prevent weight problems.
"Proactive care is the best way to keep a pet's weight under control and prevent pet obesity," says Dr. Mattu. "This starts with a weight management and nutrition consultation at an animal hospital. A veterinarian can best assess a pet's overall health and make specific recommendations for daily food intake."
Weight management and nutrition counseling is also beneficial for pets with special dietary requirements, such as food allergies. An elimination diet is frequently necessary to specifically identify allergen triggers.
In addition to nutrition consulting, the Berkeley Animal Hospital provides veterinary wellness care, vaccinations, surgery, geriatric care and dermatology.
To learn more please visit University Veterinary Hospital's website at http://uvhberkeley.com/.
CONTACT: University Veterinary Hospital 888-667-5235Source:University Veterinary Hospital