Virtually every pet owner puts a lot of effort into ensuring that their furry friend is happy, healthy, and safe at all times. But certain issues can slip past even the best owner’s attention, because they develop so gradually that it takes a while for the pet owner to even notice. One of these issues is being overweight. As is the case with humans, pets who are overweight can develop various health problems if the weight isn’t kept in check.
A pet that is overweight is more at risk of developing a variety of ailments, including diabetes and heart disease. Therefore, if your pet is overweight, it’s important to do what you must to correct the issue. But before we do that, let’s look at the most common reasons for overweight pets, because knowing the cause can help you better develop a solution.
Reasons for Pets Being Overweight
There are several reasons why a pet may become overweight, including mistakes made by the pet owner themselves and underlying issues that contribute to excessive weight gain. Let’s examine the most common reasons below:
Reason #1: Over-Feeding
Over-feeding is one of the leading causes of weight problems in pets. As pet owners, we tend to spoil our four-legged friends, which can lead us to giving them portions that are too big, too many treats or more meals in one day than their bodies actually need. Our pets are still largely connected to their wild ancestors, and so they have an opportunistic approach to feeding – meaning that they’ll eat what’s in front of them, because in nature, they never know if more food is coming.
Reason #2: Feeding the Wrong Foods
A pet may also become overweight because a pet owner is giving them food that is inappropriate for their species. Many of us tend to give our pets human food on a regular basis, because we love seeing them happy. But, a lot of these foods are simply not acceptable for a cat or dog, because they contain many calories and ingredients that can cause your pet to put on weight. Pets require a particular balance of nutrients, fats and protein to maintain a healthy body weight. Many human food is filled with sugar, unhealthy fat and other ingredients that cause them to take in more calories than their bodies can burn within a short period of time.
Reason #3: Lethargy
If your pet has been acting lethargic lately, they may be putting on weight. Cats and dogs are naturally active creatures, and they are capable of burning off all of the calories that they consume each day. But, if your pet is sick or unhappy, they may stop all physical activity, which means that those calories translate to pounds.
Reason #4: Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is a thyroid condition that, among other things, slows down the metabolism, which means that even if your pet isn’t eating more than usual, they may be putting on a lot of weight.
Reason #5: Stress-Eating
While it’s more common for pets to ignore food when they are feeling stressed out or anxious, some do the opposite, which is eat more than they usually do.
Methods for Maintaining a Pet’s Weight
So, how does a pet owner help maintain their furry companion’s weight? Well, if your pet is overweight, first, you want to take them to a vet. The vet can look for any signs of an underlying condition and can help you come up with a treatment plan. If no underlying condition is present, the vet will likely suggest lifestyle changes, including more activity and changes in food. They may even prescribe a special diet food to give to your cat or dog.
Could CBD Oil Help Your Dog or Cat Maintain a Healthier Weight?
As of now, there haven’t been any studies done on humans, cats or dogs regarding CBD’s potential to aid in weight management. However, that doesn’t mean that we don’t have reason to feel optimistic. A study was recently performed that shows that rats that were administered CBD regularly gained less weight than rats that were not, despite being fed the same foods in the same quantities.
The study showed that CB2 receptors in the body were responsible for regulating weight gain. See, every mammal has an endocannabinoid system, which is a system in charge of homeostasis throughout the body. This system uses cannabinoid receptors found everywhere in the various bodily systems to regulate bodily processes, but they can’t fulfill their roles unless they are given CBD, which produces chemical reactions forcing these regulatory actions to take place. It seems that there are CB2 receptors in the body that dictate how fat is stored in the body through anti-inflammatory actions. White adipose tissue is a type of fat deposit that becomes inflamed, which causes the fat to lose its inability to break down properly.
We’ve also seen studies suggesting that CBD may be able to regulate appetite. If your pet’s weight has to do with an insatiable appetite, you may want to look into giving them CBD.
Giving Your Pet CBD for Potential Weight Management
Before giving your pet CBD oil for weight management, speak to your vet and make sure you have their approval. We suggest giving your pet a tincture or treat daily for the best results. Make sure that the product is made specifically for pets, as human CBD goods are not appropriate for cats and dogs.
To Put It Plainly, an Overweight Pet is an Unhealthy Pet
Our furry friends want to maintain a healthy weight, as it helps them remain physically active, which greatly enhances their quality of life. Therefore, as their caretaker, it’s up to you to make the necessary changes in order to bring their weight back down to a healthy range. If you wish to use CBD oil in addition to making these changes, speak to your veterinarian first and then take the proper steps from there.