Obesity is becoming a major health concern for pets. Inactivity and overconsumption of food and treats, especially people food, has lead to an increase in a plump pet population. Over fifty percent of pets are overweight or obese. These pets are consuming more calories than they require daily. One or two pounds really isn’t that much or is it? One extra pound on a cat or small dog is like a person gaining 20 pounds! The extra pounds can exacerbate arthritis, lead to diabetes, and shortens life expectancy.
One or Two Can Make A Difference
Every pet food bag has guidelines for the proper feeding amounts based on weight. Use this as a starting point. Dividing the recommended amounts into two measured feedings per day is a good starting point. If your pet is still gaining weight or hasn’t lost weight switching to a light food is the next step.
Completely stop any people food; no cheese, hotdogs, deli meat, tuna, french fries, ice cream, and leftovers. Yes, we have heard these and many other things being given to pets; these things need to be eliminated from any pet diet. Treats also need to be limited or eliminated. It is hard when they give you those sad puppy eyes or drive you crazy meowing 30 minutes before dinner. Be strong!
Your Pet Needs Exercise
Exercise your pet regularly. Taking your dog for a walk not only benefits your pet but gives you a chance to exercise as well. It is also a good time to initiate training and bond with your furry friend.
Even indoor cats need exercise; laser lights, wand toys, and balls are great choices. There are even “toys” that can be used to make your pet work for their foods. Placing a pet’s whole rationed meal into a ball that releases kibble as they play stimulates their mind, rations their food, and gives them exercise.
When Diet And Exercise Isn’t Enough
If diet and exercise are not working there are some diseases that can cause unwanted weight gain. Hypothyroidism is an example of one of these diseases and can be diagnosed with a blood test.
Call us to make an appointment to establish if your pet is portraying symptoms of this disease.
All About Pets carries a variety of Hill’s Science Diet and Prescription Diet foods that cater to most weight loss goals for your pet. Not only are these foods geared towards weight loss, but there are lines that include diabetes maintenance, joint support, and prevention of urinary crystals.
For the longevity and happiness of you and your pet take the steps to keeping them fit and trim.