Are you loving your cat or dog so much that you are making them an unhealthy and overweight pet? When those irresistible pleading eyes look at you the way they do, are you overfeeding or giving too many treats? Unfortunately, veterinarians are seeing many obese pets, and this is not good. In fact, according to a 2017 survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), approximately 56% of dogs and 60% of cats were overweight or obese. Because excess weight can take a severe toll on your pet’s body and health, here is some advice to help your overweight pet lose weight and become a healthier companion.
Put Your Overweight Pet on a Diet
This is Number One and the most caring thing you can do for your overweight dog or cat. Reduce food intake gradually and, if you have an overweight cat, DO NOT leave food out all day long. Also, feed only high-quality food – the best brands are those labeled as containing all natural ingredients.
How do I Keep my Pet Healthy?
Adding supplements to your pet’s diet will help provide more energy and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. Here are some supplements to pay attention to:
Glucosamine and chondroitin – These two supplements are beneficial for joint health, especially with respect to senior pets. However, if you give joint supplements to a younger pet, they will help keep them walking and running with ease well into old age.
Probiotics – Probiotics or digestive enzymes play an essential role in ensuring that your pet’s digestive system makes the optimum use of all the good nutrition in their food.
Antioxidants – Antioxidants help decrease inflammation and the formation of free radicals that are involved in many chronic degenerative and immune diseases.
Omega 3 – Omega 3 is a fatty acid that will help maintain a healthy immune system and keep your pet’s coat glossy and healthy.
How Much Exercise Should my Pet Get?
Along with diet, adequate exercise is a must to maintain your pet in good health. Enjoy a long walk with your dog every day and give them a chance to be off the leash and chase a ball in a safe place. Cats enjoy playing with all kinds of toys – play will not only keep up your cat’s energy level but also provide you with endless hours of fun.
Keep a Running Check on Your Pet’s Health
To spot any early-stage health problems, ask yourself the following questions on a routine basis.
- Does my pet’s coat look shiny and in good condition?
- Did I find any abnormal lumps on my pet’s body?
- Are there any changes in my pet’s appetite or drinking habits?
- Does my pet appear to have any urination problems?
- Has there been a drop off in my pet’s energy levels?
For a non-emergency health problem, see your vet. However, any kind of trauma or emergency situation needs urgent and specialized attention. CVETS is a state-of-the-art pet emergency center in Columbia, South Carolina. If you live in our area and you have a pet emergency, bring your animal to us.