Battle of the Bulge, 4 Ways to Fight Pet Obesity

FatcatMore than two third of adults in the US are overweight or obese according to the Center of Disease Control, and our pets are not far behind. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, over half our pets are overweight or obese. Just like obesity in humans, pets are at risk for weight-related disorders such as diabetes, osteoarthritis, and cancer. Keeping your pet healthy and their weight in check will lower vet bills in the future. Pets who maintain their ideal weight tend to live two years longer than those that are overweight. Here are some tips to help get your pet back in shape.

Daily Exercise

You don’t see a lot of obese wolves or mountain lions in the wild. In fact, I’d be surprised if you found any. Dog and cat’s genetics can be traced back to their current wild cousins. Their bodies, just like our own, were meant to be constantly moving and hunting. They couldn’t afford to be lounging around all day, or they wouldn’t eat. Today’s dogs and cats don’t need to hunt for their food any more, so exercise is necessary.  To get Fido fit, one or two walks a day and switching from a casual to brisk walk will do the job. For some cat exercises, new toys, laser pointers, and putting their food and water at opposite ends of the house are good ways to get them moving.

Count Those Calories

It’s shocking at time to see how lazy we can be. Look at the automatic feeing bowls, many which don’t have the option of portion control. This gives pets a perpetual source of food and that can lead to plump pooches and fat cats.  Portion control is necessary for you pet to maintain a healthy wait. Don’t guess the amount your dog needs, rather, talk to your vet. You may also need to cut down on the amount of treats you give your pet.  Those snacks can quietly add on the calories.

Feed Them Healthy People Food

It’s hard to ignore those big puppy eyes or the constant purring and rubbing against you mealtime. It may be too tempting to toss your pet scraps or have them lick the plate clean. This is a bad idea since many of the foods people eat is unsafe for pets.  If you want to give you pet people food, give them healthy food like peeled apples, carrots, cooked squash, and potato’s.

Be Disciplined

This is the hardest part when it comes to losing weight for humans and animals. Committing to a program and sticking to it is hard for many pet owners, but there are so many resources out there to help you. If you struggle exercising your pet, consider hiring someone to do it for you. If feeding your pet portions is an issue, there are many portion control bowls on the market that can help you with that as well. Visit your pet care provider for additional help and encouragement.

Here’s another great article you may enjoy;  All You Need to Know About Pets Improving Your Health!

Image source: Flickr Les Chatfield

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Oh yes, she is too fat. Animals also need to exercise and the master has to take care of these things.

Oh yes, she is too fat. Animals also need to exercise and the master has to take care of these things.

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