kitten eatingMoving into the new year, pet owners can do a variety of things to keep the future full of adoring looks, happy wags, cozy cuddles, and sweet smooches. But possibly the single-most important aspect of taking care of your pet’s health involves what they eat.

With pet obesity rates rising, doing what you can for your pet now can prevent health problems, or drastically minimize existing ones. Join us in learning more about the connection between nutrition and obesity.

Tipping The Scale

Obesity is a condition that results from eating too much food and not expending those extra calories through balanced activity levels. Carrying around this excess weight is dangerous for your pet for the following reasons:

  • Extra stress for all major internal organs
  • Heightened risk of developing heart disease, breathing problems, high blood pressure, and digestive disorders
  • Arthritis, joint, and bone pain or injury
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Decreased or lack of mobility
  • Shortened life span

While getting a diagnosis of any of the above is disheartening, pet owners can make positive and meaningful changes to improve their pet’s health or ease their discomfort.

If your pet isn’t currently obese, the good news is that obesity is preventable.

How, You Say?

For starters, you can take control of your pet’s diet, including calorie counting and portion control, plus providing additional opportunities for increased exertion.

Your pet must have certain minerals and nutrients that support the body. We can help you determine what food will serve your young or aging pet’s needs the best, and your notes on your pet’s preferences will be helpful.

Some pets enjoy having a plentiful supply of dry food in their bowl that he or she can eat when hungry. This pattern may be contributing to weight gain though. Based on your pet’s breed, age, and activity level, we can figure out where his or her ideal weight needs to be, and how to appropriately control food portions.

You can follow these tips at home:

  1. Measure portions. Cutting back too much can be harmful, though; so be sure to consult with us prior to changing your pet’s diet significantly.
  2. Withhold table-scraps or most people food. Those calories add up.
  3. Eliminate commercial treats with low nutritional value. Consider making your own treats, use baby carrots or green beans, or substitute attention or exercise, instead.
  4. Re-fill and regulate fresh water every day.

Hitting The Gym

OK, so maybe you’re not going to walk your dog on the treadmill, but there are ways you can participate with your pet on their weight-loss journey. The bond you share will intensify through additional walks on your weekly fitness docket. Or, perhaps your pet enjoys indoor games using the laser or bubbles or indoor exercise equipment

We offer training and working together with a personal trainer can be an excellent option to assist in shedding a few pounds. No matter your choice, your pet will benefit in these ways:

  • Increased stamina
  • Bone strength
  • Muscle tone
  • Mood elevation

A Longer, Happier Life

We know that your pet’s companionship is important to you and your family, and hope that the new year is happy and memorable for you all. If you find yourself considering your pet’s health and possible weight issues, please let us know so we can help you get started.

Not only can obesity cast a long shadow on your pet’s quality of life, but it cuts down on how long your pet will be around. By limiting calories and increasing exercise, you’ll be making a commitment to a longer, happier life together. As weight comes off your pet, you will be sure to notice positive changes in your pet’s disposition – most significantly, extra vim, affection, and curiosity.