Did you know that 2 lbs of extra fat on a 10 lb cat, or 4 lbs of extra fat on a 20 lb dog is equivalent to 30 lbs of extra fat on a 150 lb human?
A huge part of maintaining your pet’s well-being is maintaining a healthy weight!
Obesity is an epidemic in the human population, and the same disease is having the same adverse effects on our pets. Over 60% of North American pets are overweight, and over 25% are classified as obese!! This is because they, like us, are overeating and not getting enough physical activity. Just as obesity affects us, extra weight creates stress on our pets’ bodies as well. Carrying around all those extra pounds puts abnormal stress on joints, leading to arthritis and joint injury. This makes exercise more challenging and less fun, and can make it even harder for them to lose weight as they age. And just like us, obesity predisposes pets to heart disease, liver disease and diabetes.
If you have a heavy pet, this month we encourage you to make a plan help your pet get leaner and healthier. You control how much they eat and how much they exercise, so you are the one in charge of their health!
Here are some tips for healthy weight loss:
~Feed only a nutritious, balanced diet, and healthy treats (no special treats or table scraps).
~Offer only the recommended amounts, and use a measuring cup for consistency. ‘Eyeballing it’ often results in overfeeding.
~Feed your pet twice a day- 1/2 in AM and 1/2 in PM. This is better than once a day or free choice, and will reduce the amount of scavenging they’ll do on walks.
~Replace treats with love. Instead of giving a cookie, give a head rub, a body massage, a nice long walk or a good game of fetch.
~If you must give a food reward, carry some of their own kibble with you. Also plain, unsalted, unbuttered popcorn, or crunchy veggies like uncooked beans or broccoli stems provide some variety and have almost zero calories.
Please feel free to come by the clinic at any time to weigh your pet. This is a huge step in monitoring your pet’s weight! We want our patients to live long, happy lives and be as healthy as they can be. If losing weight is proving a challenge, one of our staff can recommend a food to suit your pet’s health needs. We carry a variety of diets in the clinic that are scientifically proven to help with your pet’s metabolism and weight loss.