Pet Obesity is the #1 health problem veterinarians see for cats and dogs. Research conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) states that most pet owners are not aware of the problem and are unable to identify an obese dog or cat. The most concerning problem with pet obesity is that it can lead to other major health problems such as osteoarthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and most importantly a decrease in life expectancy. Are you concerned that your pet may be overweight? Here are a few tips that can help get your pet back to a healthy weight.
The first step in preventing your pet for becoming overweight is to understand the amount of food your pet needs on a daily basis. If you are concerned with your pet’s weight or your veterinarian has discussed that your pet needs to lose weight ask them the correct amount of food you should be feeding your pet. Additionally, it is also important to understand that many pet food treats are high in calories and could also be a cause for your pet’s sudden increase in weight. While giving your pet a treat usually causes no harm, it is important to keep in mind how many treats you are giving your pet. Another important factor to consider is the amount of table scraps that are given to your pet. Table scraps may seem like a harmless treat or reward but it can be contributing problem to your pet’s weight. Being aware of the amount of food and treats you are giving your pet can help prevent your pet from becoming overweight.
As humans we always here that exercise is the best method to lead a healthy lifestyle and increase weight loss. The same concept applies to your pet and is just as important. Increasing your pet’s activity is proven and effective method in preventing obesity and/or aiding your pet to lose weight. Exercises in assisting your pet into a healthy weight can be taking walks, swimming, and throwing the ball around for your dog. For cats, increasing their play activities by using cat toys or make them work for their food by using feeding toys or play hide and seek with their food are all effective ways to engage your cat into healthy exercise. Engaging with your pet in activities will not only help them stay healthy but it will also increase the bond that you already have with them.
Pet obesity is often over looked but can be easily corrected before it turns into a serious issue. The APOP conducted a study in 2015 and revealed that over half of the dog and cat population was obese. Change starts with you; your pet relies on you for their food, care and well-being. If you have concerns over your pet’s weight don’t hesitate to contact your local veterinarian for a weight loss plan that is best suited for your pet.