Over 50% of pets are considered overweight or obese, with numbers climbing steadily. Just as with people, pet obesity has become an epidemic in the US and the most common cause for obesity in animals is over-feeding and lack of exercise.
National Pet Obesity Awareness Day has been and gone for 2014 but the health awareness tips from the North Shore Animal League America are helpful year-round to help combat this problem.
Have your pet evaluated by a veterinarian to develop a plan for healthy living. Unchecked obesity in pets can lead to debilitating diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, cancer and more.
We love to snack, and so do our pets. Although satisfying, unhealthy snacking can put on a couple of unnecessary pounds. Avoid from feeding snacks and table scraps to your cat or dog.
Exercise with your pet. From running an errand to going for a jog, take your dog with you. Exercise is quite essential for your pet’s health as it increases strength and longevity.
Wellness through water. Water is key for digesting food and will help your pet’s body absorb important nutrients. Make sure your pet’s bowl is filled with clean, clear water on a daily basis.
Feed on a schedule. Avoid accidental overfeeding by sticking to your pet’s recommended daily feeding guide.
While preparing and cooking your own meals, it is best to keep your pet in another room.
Make sure additional food is not just lying around as it will only encourage your pet to eat more than his/her daily diet suggests
If you are going away, make sure to leave clear diet/feeding instructions with the person who will be looking after your pet.
If you have more than one pet, feed them separately.
When purchasing pet food, look for the words “complete and balanced nutrition” on the label. Consult with your veterinarian for more information regarding your pet’s specific diet.