It’s a growing (sorry for the pun) problem. As we humans increase in girth, unfortunately so do our pets. Just how bad is the problem you might ask. Very very bad is the answer.
Estimates range from 25% to 50% of our cats and dogs are overweight. Obesity causes the same litany of problems in pets as it does in humans: arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, compromised immune system, spinal problems, gastrointestinal issues and most important, a shortened life span. The pet’s quality of life suffers too: it is harder for the pet to groom himself, she feels tired and depressed and he may growl or meow incessantly.
What can we do to prevent or treat pet obesity?
- Take responsibility as the human in the equation.
- Read the label on the pet food bag and measure the food you put in Gizmo or Smurf’s bowl.
- Don’t allow your cat or dog to graze all day. Remember, those kind of diets don’t work well for humans either. Instead, feed your pet at specific times and leave the food available only for 30 minutes.
- Reward your dog with a scratch under the chin or a belly rub instead of a treat.
- Get active with your pet and encourage activity for your pet.
- Put Psycho’s litter box in one end of the house and his water dish in the other end. That way he has to walk back and forth to get his needs met.
- Install cat towers in your home so Nibbles has a place to climb.
- Play lasar tag with your cat. You can get an extra bonus by all the laughter this activity will bring.
- Play an active game of fetch with Taz. It will be good for you too.
- Let Snickers take you on two walks a day. It will bring you pleasure and weight maintenance too. Luke, Daisy and Trooper all three recognize when we are getting ready to go for a walkie. We cannot say the word unless we are ready to deliver. If you don’t have time to take your dog for a walk, we do. Give us a call at 704-662-0973.
- Study: More Than Half Of Cats, Dogs In America Are Obese (atlanta.cbslocal.com)
- Chubby, Tubby, Plump and Pudgy (consciouscompanion2012.com)
- Fat cats and hog dogs: 1 in 4 dogs and cats overweight (nbcnews.com)
- Ask the veterinarian: Pet Obesity (local10.com)
- Veterinarians concerned over obesity in pets (weau.com)
- Pets and Obesity (fitness407tips.wordpress.com)
- Of Course: Bay Area Now A Hotbed Of Pet Gyms (sfist.com)
- When pets also need exercise – and a diet (napavalleyregister.com)
- Economic View: The Co-Villains Behind Obesity’s Rise (nytimes.com)