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Humans are not the only ones who struggle with winter weight gain. While we enjoy holiday celebrations, many of us share these food-filled traditions with our furry friends. And like us, our pets pay the price in added weight.
If you can’t resist sharing leftovers with those pleading puppy eyes, here are some sobering statistics that illustrate food does NOT equal love when it comes to overfeeding your pet:
Obesity poses many of the same health risks for dogs and cats as it does for humans. Obese or overweight pets are more likely to suffer from:
Here are some tips to help keep the pounds off your furry friends this season:
If you must feed treats, make sure you are feeding healthy treats and using them to entice your pet to keep moving and learning new things. And just like Fido’s human counterpart, he will ultimately find this preventative measure much less of a struggle than battling to lose the bulge later.
It may be too cold to go for that usual three-mile, daily jog around the neighborhood. However, that doesn’t mean your pooch’s exercise routine needs to take a winter hiatus. Instead, try more frequent, shorter activities:
Things to keep in mind:
If the weather makes outdoor activities impossible, try and stay active indoors by chasing your pup up and down the stairs or rolling his favorite ball across the room.
Instead of feeding your dog out of his regular dish, try using a food-dispensing toy.
Food dispensing toys have many benefits:
Most pet stores sell food-dispensing puzzles. They require your dog to figure out how to work them before releasing food.
This PetSafe dog toy doubles as a treat or kibble dispenser. The dog has to roll it around to release the kibble. This is a good option for medium to large dogs who need to watch their waistlines.
The IQ Treat Ball is a better choice for small to medium-sized dogs. This kibble dispenser has adjustable feeding levels, making it easy to continually challenge your dog as he learns.
A kibble dispenser is a great way to reward your dog for being active and get him moving around for his food.
Enlist the help of your entire family and guests when it comes to not feeding your pet table scraps. Not only do these add pounds to your pet, but they can also cause more harm than good.
Why you should not feed table scraps:
The less activity your pet is doing, the fewer calories he is burning. If you notice your pet gaining weight, talk to your vet. Ask if you should consider feeding a lower calorie food or adjusting the portion size during the winter months.
Remember to make time for activity with your beloved pet this season. It will go a long way toward a slimmer, healthier life together.
Guest Blogger: Lauren Lee
Diet and exercise are important ways to keep your pet healthy this holiday season. But if an accident or illness does occur, you can make sure that your pet is covered with PetFirst Pet Insurance. Get a quote today.