There are many factors that can contribute to an overweight pet. While many people think feeding a pet table food or table scraps is the main cause, weight issues are often caused by known and even unknown medical conditions your pet is facing.
The Association of Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) found in its clinical survey that 55.8% of dogs and 59.5% of cats are clinically overweight. Pet owners are obviously focused on making sure that food bowl is full and the pets are happy, but this comes with the side effect of obesity, which can lead to many health issues.
According to Veterinary Practice News, some of the most common health risks associated with pet obesity include:
- Insulin resistance and diabetes
- Respiratory disease
- Kidney Disease
- High blood pressure
- Shorter life expectancy
For pet owners focused on providing a better quality of life for their furry family members, addressing weight issues has to be on the list of priorities.
The Right Amount of Food
The most common method for achieving weight loss is to reduce portion sizes (less calories). Exercise is the second most common weight loss remedy followed by offering pets lower-calorie foods and then foods with lower amounts of fat. The fourth most common means of achieving weight loss includes putting the pet on a prescription diet, usually one recommended by their veterinarian.
According to VCA Hospitals, a dog that is as little as five pounds overweight is at risk of developing medical conditions listed above, but putting your pet on a diet should only be done with the guidance of a veterinarian. Most veterinarians will make calculations on the animal’s ideal weight based on size and breed. Rather than putting them on a crash diet, vets shoot for no more than 3 to 5 percent body weight loss per month.
VCA says most dogs benefit by being fed diet foods several times a day, but each feeding includes an accurate calculation of calories so you will know where to make changes should the animal lose weight too fast or remain at the unhealthy weight.
Have you been cutting back on your daily walks? Remember, it’s not only good for your dog – it’s also good for you. But rather than strolling at 20 to 25 minutes per mile, try taking a brisk 30-minute walk that gets the heart beating. Again, get the okay from your vet and make sure your health is also in check before you step into your workout clothes.
Tips for a healthier pup:
- Try to make a daily routine to ensure consistency
- Hire a dog walker
- Consider doggie daycare for additional exercise 4
- Set up a doggie playdate
Finally, play fetch more frequently with them. If they’ll chase after a laser pointer – go for it. Otherwise, any toy or stick that will get them active for 10 to 15 minutes at a time can help them expend calories.
At PetSoothe, we’re committed to assisted pet owners in providing a more healthful and happy life for their pets. We have developed a range of CBD treats to reach these goals, so ask your veterinarian about the positive effects of CBD. For more information, contact us today.