Obesity in pets is a concerning epidemic. Just like in humans, obesity in pets is on the rise. Over 50% of pets in the US are obese. What’s worse is that most pet owners don’t even realize the dangers associated with pet obesity. Experts like APOP founder Dr. Ernie Ward have a special term for it, “this is what I refer to as the ‘fat pet gap’ or the normalization of obesity by pet parents. In simplest terms, we’ve made fat pets the new normal,” he said. Today, we’re going to discuss obesity in pets and how to ensure your pet remains at a healthy weight.
Obesity in Pets: Dangers
Just like us, pet obesity comes with a slew of weight-related conditions that can negatively impact a pet’s quality of life. Some of these diet-related conditions include diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, osteoarthritis, hypertension, and trouble breathing. Nothing about these ailments is cute because the extra weight is wreaking havoc on their bodies and, potentially, shortening their lives.
Obesity in Pets: Diagnosis
If you’re worried your pet may be overweight or obese, you can test by feeling their ribs without pressing down. You can also observe if the pet has a waist. Learn more here.
If you suspect your pet may be overweight, talk to your veterinarian for a diagnosis. Pet obesity is not a problem our pets should have to live with. Thankfully, it’s a problem we pet parents can resolve. While it can, of course, be difficult to keep our pets on track, withhold table scraps, and commit to giving them appropriate exercise, it’s worth it. Proper weight management ensures our pets’ quality of life and longevity.
Obesity in Pets: Management
Pick up the Food Bowl
To manage your pet’s weight, don’t leave food in your pet’s bowl all day. It’s unnatural for animals to have easy access to food 24/7. In nature, they are used to hunting and working for their meal. Even if your pet is born and bred as a domesticated animal, its body is genetically hardwired to burn calories to get calories.
Improve Pet’s Diet
Next, evaluate your pet’s food; how many calories and carb fillers are in their commercial diet? Discuss better options with your veterinary team, consult with a veterinary nutritionist, or download this list of top pet foods by Susan Thixton. If you decide to change your pet’s food, don’t do it suddenly. Instead, gradually transition from the new food to the old food to get them used to the new taste and allow their tummies to adjust.
Practice Portion Control
If you aren’t already, measure your pet’s food portions according to either the chart on the packaging or your vet’s recommendation. Give dogs healthy treats like green beans and cucumbers in between meals to satiate them as they adjust to fewer calories. Consider a high-quality bone broth for cats and dogs.
Exercise Your Pet
At Animal Admiration Pet Care Services, we have helped many pets get in shape with our dog walking services. Whether you sign your dog up for daily visits or a couple walks per week, we are happy to help get their heart rate up and bodies moving. For cats, we can also help engage your cat in a vigorous game of cat and mouse or whatever your feline friend prefers. Movement is critical to our pet’s health and weight but also excellent for their mental and emotional health.
At Animal Admiration Pet Care, we help keep pets engaged and comfortable when you can’t be there. Our professional pet sitters and dog walkers are highly trained, dedicated to quality, and passionate about pet care. Whether you’re at work or traveling, we’re happy to help. To learn more about our services, contact us by email at email@example.com or by phone at (281) 391-1015.