You hear a lot of people talking about their weight and how much they want to lose (or gain) - but how often do we discuss our pet's weight? Obesity is a prevalent concern among domesticated pets, just like it is with humans, and it's essential as a pet owner to ensure we put a plan in place to help control our pet's weight. We all know pets that will eat anything and everything when given the chance - but uncontrollable eating comes with risks.
Overweight dogs and cats are at risk of arthritis, type 2 diabetes, skin problems (dry/flaky skin), liver disease and a poorer quality of life - which is the last thing we want for them!
At the end of the day, your pet's health starts with you. It's up to you to ensure your pets are eating less and engaging in more physical activity if the goal is to lose weight. The first step is to understand how much food your pet really needs (based on their age, breed and weight). Managing your dog's weight might seem daunting at first, but it can be made easier with products such as an auto-feeder.
Not only is it important to put measures in place for the amount of food your pet eats, it's vital that they're eating the right type of food based on their age and breed. For example, if you have an adult dog, you wouldn't feed them puppy food or puppy growth formula. If you're second-guessing what to feed your pet, you can always visit your Veterinarian to discuss the best options specifically for your pet.
Surely the left-overs won't hurt right? Think again. Dogs and cats react differently to human foods. Not only can giving them our food result in weight gain, it can also result in other medical issues over time. Remember, not all human foods are safe for our furry friends.
Exercise is a sure way to see results over time (once given the all clear by the Vet). Taking your dog for a daily walk for 15-45 minutes is a good place to start! Encouraging your dog to get moving will improve their movement ability, blood circulation, the digestive process and they'll also get a good night's sleep! Cats on the other hand...you'll have to get a little creative with ways to get them moving (unless they'll happily walk on a lead). You can keep them busy for up to 15 minutes a day with cat toys such as wands, lasers/torches, balls, cat scratching towers, paper bags and even cat wheels - hamster wheels for cats!