Obesity in pets is typically caused by excessive food intake or lack of physical exercise in their daily routine. Often pet owners don’t understand the negative consequences of overfeeding their pets and can cause great harm if they aren’t informed. Excessive weight is most commonly caused by an imbalance between energy intake (daily caloric consumption) and its usage.
Obesity Can Be Avoided
It is a fact that obesity can shorten our pet’s life expectancy and cause all kinds of physical problems. Around 50% of dogs and cats in the United States are grossly overweight or obese, and that number continues to rise year after year. Obesity is the most common preventable disease in dogs. The best prevention begins when pets are young. Consider the following tips to help keep your four-legged friends healthy;
- Limit the number of treats per day. Try to swap commercial treats and table scraps for healthy treats like carrots, green beans, or broccoli stems. Fresh veggies are a great option and they don’t cause weight gain. Just make sure you know which veggies are safe for your pet, and which ones are common toxins.
- Limit meals to twice daily feedings- set amounts per meal as established by your veterinarian.
- Pick up those free-choice feeders. Free grazing throughout the days can add anywhere from 30 % to 50 % more caloric intake that is needed per day.
- Schedule routine wellness exams with your veterinarian to evaluate weight gain. You can also discuss dietary intake and required caloric consumption. Wellness exams can help differentiate if this is a caloric intake issue or if there is possibly an underlying medical issue like hypothyroidism or an adrenal gland disease.
- Increase daily activity - Take your dog for a walk each day or drop them off for a day of doggy-day-care a couple of times a week. It can help keep your companion active and healthy. Spending time with your cat playing each day - Laser pointers can add a lot of daily activity to their lives, as well as the simple feather on the end of a string, or a small toy to chase.