Us humans aren’t the only ones who need to greet the new year with a new attitude. Whether we like to admit it or not, pet obesity is a threat to our furry friends and it happens more and more every year.
Picture this scenario: a routine trip to the vet should be a relative breeze, but then your pet is weighed and your vet finds out that he’s gained quite a few pounds since his last visit. It can be challenging to accept, but remember that you’re not alone. Many pet parents have gone through this same process and have had to work on getting their pets back in shape. The good thing is that unlike human obesity, the same condition in pets is easier to work on because you, as the owner, are in full control of what your pet ends up eating. (We’ll save this cookie we’ve been nibbling on for after this blog post.)
Here are a few quick tips that can help shape up your pets and get them back to their ideal weight range:
Cut back on unnecessary snacks and/or treats.
Is overtreating a problem in your household? Many pet parents unconsciously give too many treats, usually because more than one person in the family is involved. After all, pets might also be getting treats from your parents, kids, partner, or even your guests. Before you can blink, your pets now have an overload of calories that you’re unaware of, through no fault of their own. Hey, who says no to free food?
You don’t need to stop giving treats, but you can try giving them better food options such as carrots, banana slices, apples, or other fruits and vegetables that are appropriate for your pet. Speaking of food alternatives, we also suggest that you…
Switch to healthier food choices or decrease portion sizes.
Higher quality food (and we don’t just mean more expensive ones!) is better for your pet’s overall health as it doesn’t just benefit their weight management. It also boosts their nutrition and leaves pets feeling full without the usual fillers that are found the usual processed pet food.
Feeding pets less also doesn’t mean you’re starving them. It just means cutting back on their calorie intake so their health is always in check.
Increase physical activity to beat pet obesity!
Probably the most effective tip to help keep pets healthy is to give them regular exercise. This goes for pet parents too! It makes for great bonding activities as long as the weather is right and you have enough time. If you’re busy with work, you can always hire your friendly, neighborhood DC dog walker to help out.
Slow and steady wins the race to pet health. Be patient and follow these tips so your pet will go back to his peak health. Before you know it, your next vet visit will come around and they’ll be in for a pleasant surprise.