Don’t we all want our fur babies to be in good health always? Each of us wants to cherish our pets for as long as possible. However, sometimes we tend to forget how improper nutrition and lack of regular exercise can cause them to gain excessive weight.
Did you know, obesity is one of the leading health risks in pets today?
It leads to a plethora of health issues in pets like:
● Difficulty breathing
● High blood pressure
● Resistance to insulin
● Liver disease
● Compromised immune system
Dogs and cats get obese the same way as we do. Overeating and sedentary lifestyle!
Even though genetically, some dog breeds tend to gain weight, mostly, its lack of awareness (in our part) causes obesity.
How can you Prevent Obesity in your Pets?
Before we talk about what you can do to prevent your furry friend from getting obese, let’s have some awareness about dog obesity. It can be based on the following factors:
● Age – Ideally, senior dogs and cats weigh more than puppies and kittens.
● Breed – The breed of your pet matters a lot! A Chihuahua – weighing 20 pounds is obese as their model weight is 10 pounds, just as it’s underweight for a Spaniel (ideal weight 30 pounds).
● Medical Conditions – If your pet has a medical condition like hypothyroidism and Cushings’ disease, they can gain weight. So, ensure to consult a vet before taking the call on obesity.
Read More: Is Your Dog Overweight?
Tips To Help You Prevent Obesity In Your Pets
Excess weight gain puts extra strain on the heart and joints in dogs and cats. Being a pet owner, you must follow these tips meticulously to check on the obesity of your pet.
Three Vital Actions For Pet Owners
● Get annual pet wellness exams done
● Maintain a consistent diet by implementing portion control
● Set a regular and fun exercise routine
Be Mindful of Treats
Giving away treats to your pets readily throughout the day can add up extra calories. Appreciate an affirmative action with games, snuggle time, toys, or extra playtime, rather than giving treats always.
Schedule Regular Exercise and Playtime
Exercising and playing with your dog is a bonding activity. It not only strengthens your relationship but also keeps your dog active.
If you are too busy, get a dog walker!
You can take your cats on a walk too or play hide-and-seek with them by putting their favorite toys under the pillow. You can also add some toys and dangles to the multi-tiered cat tree or spice things up with a ramp or a teeter-totter to exercise your cat.
Read More: Boost Your Dog’s Immune System
Designate Someone to Feed Your Pet
Just like taking care of a baby, be a responsible pet parent to feed your pet.
If you don’t have a designated person in the house in-charge of feeding pets, they can accidentally get extra meals. So, assign a person to make sure that your pets get fed the same amount consistently.
Use a Measuring Cup for Pet Foods.
A medium dog breed requires 1 to 2 cups of dry food per day, whereas an indoor cat needs only approximately 1/3 to 1/2 cup of it each day. It helps you to ensure portion control and reduces the risk of overfeeding your pet.
If you don’t have a measuring cup already, get one from a pet store or online today!
Avoid Emotional Eating
Do you Give in to the Sad Eyes or when they Beg?
Giving extra food is not love. It’s causing more harm to health than doing any good to anyone. Instead, use interactive toys to engage their minds or spend quality time with them to understand what’s making them sad. You can also consult a pet psychologist or veterinary behaviorist to understand the emotional problems your pet is experiencing.
Pay Attention to Food Labels
Next time, when you go pet food shopping, pay attention to the food labels. The ones mentioning ‘light’ or ‘reduced calories’ might have higher calories than other foods.
Therefore, read the ingredient details and labels carefully. Go for canned foods with a higher protein, lower carbohydrates, and fewer calories. Additionally, instead of following the pet food bag’s feeding directions, talk to a vet about ideal food portions.
Read More: How to Choose the Right Food for Your Dog?
Consult a Veterinarian
A qualified veterinarian can tell you what’s the ideal weight for your pet (depending upon the age and breed of your dog or cat). Based on it, they can provide you with appropriate dietary recommendations beneficial in achieving your pet’s weight goals.
Your fur baby can naturally gain weight with age like humans. Whether you are a pet owner of one puppy or a multi-pet owner, keep in mind, every pet is different, and each of them has different feeding needs. To prevent obesity in pets, keep them active and listen to the expert guidance of your veterinarian.