Overweight Pet-A Fat Cat is NO Laughing Matter

overweight pet - bull dog Do you have an overweight pet?  Do you even know if he’s over weight or not? Often times pet parents pay no attention when their pet begins to gain a little weight.  This is a dangerous frame of mind that can take years off of your pet’s life. Obesity in pets really is no laughing matter.

A little extra weight may look cute on a cat or dog but in actuality, obesity is a serious issue in pets and pet parents alike and can lead to a whole host of other serious and life threatening health issues.  Diabetes, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, respiratory disease, cancer and arthritis and other diseases of the joints are a few very scary and very real health issues that may plague and overweight or obese pet.

How can I help my overweight pet maintain a healthy weight?

  1. Feed your pet a well-balanced diet. This sounds easy but you’d be surprised how many people are not feeding their pets a species specific diet.  Think high protein, high moisture and low grain. 
  2. Keep portion control in mind! Two carefully measured and proportioned meals each day is a must. Not sure how much to feed your dog? Follow the guidelines on the pet food packaging if you feed your pets a commercial pet food diet.  Your veterinary office can always help you set healthy guidelines as well.
  3. Provide your pet with an opportunity for rigorous exercise each. A light romp around the living room won’t cut it. 30 minutes of exercise is imperative to a healthy lifestyle for your pet. The goal is to keep your pet’s heart rate moving!  Strong bones, muscle tone and fat reduction will result if you follow this simple step!
  4. Go easy on the treats, friends! While it may be tempting to give your pets treats throughout the day, proceed with caution.  Over treating your pets can become dangerous. Treats are often high in calories so be sure to factor those calories into your pet’s overall diet. 
  5. Continue with regularly schedule visits to the veterinarian. This is necessary even if your pet seems perfectly healthy.  Your vet can often spot weight and other issues that you may be completely unaware of.

Keeping your pet healthy is, no doubt, at the top of your list.  With a few easy steps, you can keep your pet’s weight at a healthy number, which will give him the best chance at a healthy, happy, long life.

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