The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention conducted a study back in 2014 that revealed 53% of dogs and 58% of cats are obese. If you were to look at these percentages in actual numbers, it translates to 41 million dogs and 49 million cats that are living with extra pounds! Those few extra pounds that your pet has packed on may look cute to you, but it’s not. Pet obesity can lead to serious problems for your animal's health which may result in health complications. This is why you need to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to prevent your pet from becoming obese. As a pet owner, you must take pet health as seriously as you would your own.
Some of the most common weight related issues in pets can include the following:
- Heart Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Insulin Resistance
- Kidney Disease
- Type II Diabetes
- Respiratory Disease
In addition to these conditions, if your pet is obese then it is possible that this will cause their lifespan to be decreased by around two and a half years. As a loving pet owner, you are going to want to do everything possible to spend as many quality years as possible with your pet.
How To Combat Obesity
The first thing that you can do to help your pet lose weight, or even before it gets that far, is make sure that you are feeding your pet the appropriate amount of quality pet food every day. Most food packaging labels will give you the recommended amount of food for your pet’s weight. Use a measuring cup to get the amount of food accurate at meal times.
If you tend to give your pets treats through the day for good behavior or for any other reason, you should also consider cutting down on the amount you are giving them. While this may be a good way to train your pet, if you are giving them unnecessary calories, it can lead to pet obesity.
Exercise is the other option we strongly advise. It is very important that your pet is being exercised adequately everyday. If you have a dog, you should make sure that they are getting thirty minutes of walking/running or at least some sort of exercise where they need to exert themselves. This could be something as simple as repeatedly throwing their toys in the yard to place fetch. Your pet will love the extra attention (and mental stimulation) from you.
If you have a cat, you already know that for a large portion of the day they will be asleep. As this is the case, you need to make sure that you are fully utilizing the time that they are awake and you can do this by playing with them. Try providing them safe toys that they will chase after or play with.
For both our feline and canine friends, our online store offers healthy food options and toys to keep your pets active.. You can head over there and take a look at our full range of products that could benefit your pet.
If you are unsure about whether your pet is overweight, you can always request an appointment with our veterinary team to get them checked out by a veterinarian. Our veterinarians will be able to help you to develop a plan to help your pet if they are overweight.
Sources used in article:
“Pet Statistics.” ASPCA, www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/pet-statistics.
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