Are you the owner of an overweight pet that needs to lose some weight? You’re not alone. A 2018 survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) found that 60% of cats and 56% of dogs were overweight or obese.
Whether you’re giving your pet too many treats, feeding them unhealthy food, or not providing them with enough exercise, there are a few habits you could improve upon that’ll help bring them to a healthy weight.
1. No more “people food”
We’re all guilty of caving in to the big, wide eyes staring at our dinner plate from underneath the table.
“A little bit of our dinner won’t hurt,” we justify to ourselves as we give the dog some leftovers.
This seemingly harmless act of kindness can be quite detrimental to the health of your pet. Not only does your pet not interpret the giving of food as love (like people do), but your charity is likely contributing to its weight problems.
Here’s an example:
One ounce of cheese fed to your average 12 lb house cat is the equivalent of you eating 3 ½ hamburgers. That same amount of cheese fed to a 20 lb dog is about 2 ½ hamburgers.
Multiply that number over a week, a month, and a year, and then combine it with your pet’s regular food and treat consumption. You quickly begin to understand how your pet’s weight issues came to be.
2. Exercise more frequently
The APOP found that exercise was second only to calorie restriction in its effectiveness for helping a pet lose weight.
Not only will increased exercise benefit your pet, but it might benefit you as well — especially if the pet you own is a dog.
Making sure you get outside for a walk every day is as good for a person as it is for a dog. Put on a podcast or listen to some music and make a habit of going for a daily walk with your pooch.
3. Consult your veterinarian
Have you spoken to your veterinarian about your pet’s weight problem?
We’re here to help your pet live a long, healthy, happy life! Part of our strategy for doing that is by offering weight loss plans that are tailored to each individual pet.
Side effects of having an overweight or obese pet
Similarly to overweight and obese people, pets with weight issues have a host of health problems that could result in a decreased lifespan.
Overweight pets are more prone to cardiac disease, arthritis, diabetes, skin and coat problems, and high blood pressure.
It’s not all doom and gloom though!
If a pet can gain weight, it can also lose weight — and that’s where we come in! Woodbine Animal Clinic has spent the last 36 years dedicating our lives to keeping your best friend healthy. We do this through personalized care and tailored health solutions.
If you are concerned about your pet’s weight or general health, get in touch. We’d love to help.