More than half of our population of dogs & cats in America are considered to be overweight or obese. It’s currently the leading nutritional disorder for our pets & it’s time we take a stand. It should come as no surprise that the health risk we associated with obesity are similar to the health issues obesity can cause our pets. Many pet owners fail to realize their pet(s) even have a weight problem… a denial that leads to other health issues and a shorter life span. If it’s not our personal pet, we personally know one that suffers with obesity due to a poor diet and therefore it’s an issue we can all relate too.
Checking For Obesity: If you don’t know the weight or intended weight to be considered healthy weight for you pup, there’s a simple way to check and determine if your dogs weight is on track! Of course, there are many different breeds & it’s always a good idea to consult your vet with any questions and/or concerns you may have!
Following A Nutritional Plan: After consulting with your vet, if you find your dog to be over weight, or you want to take preventative measures, a nutritional plan is the perfect place to start. Your veterinarian can help work with you on the best feeding plan, based on your dogs specific needs & the back of the dog food will also have feeding instructions. It also helps to have a great brand like Purina offering a unique line of food that targets different, as well as specific, health needs for our dogs/cats with their Pro Plan Veterinary Diets. This line offers specific blends for obesity, gastroenteric issues, and more with no only a variety of blends but also wet food, treats, and more!
Measuring each serving is also a great way to manage their intake. Some dogs can handle a full bowl – the “grazing as you go” method – while others (who resemble me on a “diet” passing a pizza parlor & leaving with a large pizza for one…) need some supervision. You can find the proper size serving for your dogs ideas body condition on the back of the Veterinary Diet bags or by consulting your vet.
This also means limiting / substituting edible treats! Yes, the struggle is real, because I know I can’t say no to a bag of M&M’s & wish someone would limit me. None-the-less instead of always giving a treat as a reward, you can replace the treat with attention or a toy. (Side note: The police/military train their dogs with nothing more than the reward of a tennis ball!)
Paying special attention to the nutritional aspects of the treats we chose for our pets will also help tremendously! Don’t just grab any bag off of the shelf. Check to see where the products were made, their nutritional value, the ingredients, etc.
Best of all, Pro Plan Veterinary diets is loved by parents & their fur babies! Our dogs can have a delicious healthy meal while we can sleep easy knowing studies have shown that a healthy diet & maintaining an ideal body weight throughout their life has shown to significantly extend a dogs lifespan!
Last, but not least, take advantage of what your dog can also do for your health! By simply taking 20 minutes out of your day to walk your dog (whether is 5 here – 5 there, or all at once). This quick workout will not only help keep your dog fit, but also help you maintain a healthier lifestyle.
There is no need for obesity in pets! Especially, with such an easy solution to a longer healthier life! 🙂