Just like in humans, obesity in the animal kingdom can have similar unhealthy side-effects. Overweight pets can end up suffering from diabetes, heart and liver disease as well as joint pain. How can you tell if your pet is a bit on the pudgy side? Aside from hearing the prognosis from a vet, there are some tell-tale signs you should watch out for with your pet. In most pets you should be able to feel their spine and ribs when you press on them. (Feel, NOT SEE!) If you’ve identified that your fuzzy friend may be overweight, check out our tips to help your pet shed the pounds and live a longer, healthier life!
How To Help An Overweight Pet
- Re-examine Your Pets Food – If you’ve tend to go for the cheaper pet foods be aware that they are often more difficult for your pet to digest the nutrients and have a higher fat content to account for the lack of flavor. Consider upgrading your pets food to a better quality with more protein! Ask your vet what food they recommend!
Overweight pets can live significantly shorter lives…
- Exercise – Just like with humans more activity equals health. Maybe you don’t have a lot of time to spend being active with your pet? Consider hiring a pet sitter to come and interact with your animal while you’re at work. Pet sitting and/or dog walking rates are usually very reasonable and it could mean a world of difference for your pet! In home pet sitting will mean that your pet will be encouraged to interact and play, instead of moping around waiting for you to come home! This improves their physical and emotional health!
- Cut out scraps – Set a regular eating schedule for your pet that you don’t detour from it. Cut out feeding them scraps on the side and keep them out of the kitchen and dining area while the family is eating to prevent the temptation! Also be certain to not “over-reward” your pet with treats!
- Rule out pre-existing conditions – Take your pet to a vet to rule out any pre-existing disease or conditions that may be causing your pets weight gain. Your pet may become overweight from lack of activity, but they may not be active because of arthritis or other painful conditions.
Still unsure what a healthy weight for your pet is? Click here to see a healthy weight chart for different popular breeds of cats and dogs!
Keep your pet from becoming overweight!
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photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/nivardus/5092564599/”>Nivardus</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>