PET OBESITY IS ON THE RISE. WHERE DOES YOUR PET WEIGH IN?
For most owners our pet is our best friend or is just like family. And what do we do with friends and family? We usually EAT. So admit it, do you feed your pet human food? Or extra treats while you have your midnight snack? All of this eating or snacking may be putting your pet in a higher weight range. Learn more about how this may be hurting your pet’s health with these tips from PetFirst.
Pets have an ideal body weight just like humans. Your vet can discuss this with you in greater detail and can determine if your pet is over (or under) their recommended weight. In addition to discussing this issue with your vet, there are other tips you can keep in mind to help your pet shed any extra pounds:
- Assess your pet’s food intake: How much and how often – two great questions to ask your vet. And when you vet gives you their recommendation, stick to it. Everyone in the family has to agree (and no sneaking food under the table).
- Monitor treats and snacks: This goes along with assessing food intake but sometimes pet parents don’t associate food and treats in the same category for pets. Like human food, sometimes the treats and snacks are higher in calories and fat. Read the food label on your pet’s treat container and be sure to stick with the recommended amount per day.
- Don’t mix food with fun: Yes, your dog or cat does some of the cutest tricks for treats and that is fun for everyone to watch. But don’t confuse fun for your pet and the enjoyment of watching them to tricks. Running around the yard playing fetch with your dog, or jumping after a feather stick for your cat – these are fun things for your pet to do which also increases activity and doesn’t require a treat.
- Walk, walk and walk: Walking is the best form of exercise for both you and your pet. Grab that leash and harness, and if it’s cold, break out the pet sweater, and go for a brief walk. 30 minutes is ideal for both you and your pet. (Ok, walking….maybe not so much for cats, but there are alternatives to exercising your cat. Bags, boxes and paper are great non-toys for cats to play and jump in and out of;also, think vertical for jumping.)
Ultimately makingthese changes now can save your pet from future health complications such as diabetes, joint and arthritis pain, and so much more. For more information talk to your vet today.