Chunky pets may be adorable, but the pet obesity epidemic isn’t. Pet obesity can lead to a host of problems from diabetes and heart disease to arthritis and respiratory distress. That’s why many veterinarians are working to spread the word about the harm pet obesity can bring—and what you can do for your overweight cat or dog.
At the At Home Pet Doctor, we’re committed to helping your pet avoid all the problems that come with obesity. Here are 3 tips for helping achieve a healthy weight for cats and dogs.
3 Tips to Help Prevent Pet Obesity
Some pets are more prone to becoming overweight than others due to age, breed, sex, and neuter/spay status. But there are three things you can do to help give your pet the best chance of avoiding obesity.
1. Pay Attention to Pet Nutrition
If your pet is still in a healthy weight range, continuing to provide a balanced diet and appropriate amounts of food can help her stay that way. Your veterinarian can help you determine the best diet and feeding schedule based on your pet’s age, breed, activity level, and current weight.
Pets that are already obese may need extra help getting to an ideal weight range. Here at the At Home Pet Doctor, Dr. Gastellum can recommend specific foods or prescription diets to help achieve a healthy weight for dogs and cats.
Make sure to limit the number of snacks and treats your pet gets, too.
2. Get Moving with Fido or Kitty
Exercise can help your pet shed extra pounds, too. Both dogs and cats can benefit from an increased activity level. Play with your cat every day to get her moving. Get her to chase a ribbon or laser pointer for several minutes—it’s guaranteed fun for both of you!
You can also put an activity tree in your home to stimulate your pet’s need to jump, scratch, and explore.
Take your dog for a daily walk or look up unique exercises for dogs to get the inspiration flowing. Many pups love to run and play with you as they would with other dogs. Find a dog park where you and Fido can jump, run, and play together!
3. Feed Your Pet Fresh Fruits and Veggies
If you feel bad about having to limit treats, fear not. Many dogs gobble up veggies as if they were packaged treats from the pet store. Fruits and vegetables provide fiber, water, and vitamins to help your pet feel full, avoid weight gain, and stay healthy.
Dogs and cats alike love carrots, broccoli, apples, bananas, cucumbers, and other treats from the produce aisle. Just make sure to avoid toxic foods like grapes, avocados, asparagus, and mushrooms.
Helping Overweight Cats and Dogs
Are you concerned about your pet’s weight? Dr. Gastellum would be happy to spend time getting to know your pup or kitty. He can use diagnostic testing to rule out unusual causes for weight gain and put together a weight management plan for your pet. You can request a house call or an appointment at the At Home Pet Doctor’s Buena Vista office or call Dr. Gastellum at (719) 839-0446.