Well-loved pets are often too-well-fed pets: two recent surveys found that one in every three pets is overweight, and that problem causes a 17% rise in vet care costs for dog owners and a 36% increase for cat owners.
Just like with humans, carrying extra weight can cause or worsen health problems. Overweight pets have a higher risk of developing diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, high blood pressure and certain forms of cancer. Helping them slim down is easier than you think—here are some tips to help:
- Weight loss is 80% about diet and 20% about exercise. Measure the amount you feed your pet every day and feed meals rather than leaving food out for free choice grazing
- Watch those treats. Pets love a good snack, but many treats are high in sugars and fats. For canines, instead of treats, give them baby carrots, celery, cucumbers and ice cubes. For cats, opt for a dental chew (in limited amounts)
- Exercise more. Dogs of course love to go on walks, so take them out for a jog or a stroll 30 minutes a day for at least three to four days a week. Cats can get their exercise by playing indoor games like chasing a toy or feather for around 20 minutes a day.
- Get everyone involved. Whether you live with a partner, roommate or kids, keeping your household aligned with the same goal of helping your pet stay healthy will make things easier, as everyone can participate in the same exercise/play and healthy treat routines.
- Consult with your veterinarian. Vets are experts when it comes to pet nutrition and care, and our vets can consult with you on a plan to help your pet shed those extra pounds to become happier and healthier!
It’s not difficult to help your pet stay in shape, however it does take time, commitment and patience. You may not notice results right away but being consistent is key. For more information on how to help your pet get in better shape, contact us today at (307) 462-0138.