The Skinny on Fat Pets

 

Losing weight seems to be on just about every other person’s to-do list for the new year—but humans aren’t the only ones with an excess poundage problem. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 59% of cats and 54% of dogs in the U.S. are overweight or obese. Just like people, overweight pets are more likely to develop diabetes, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, joint injuries, and cancer.

The fact is that well-loved pets are often too-well-fed pets. Your I-20 Animal Medical Center veterinarian can help you figure out what diet is best for your dog or cat, as well as how much to feed. Here are some other helpful tips for regulating your pet’s food intake and activity:

  • Measure your pet’s food to make sure you’re not overfeeding
  • Place food into toys that require interaction with your dog or cat to receive a food reward (food puzzle).
  • Hide kibble around the house so that your cat must hunt for food, or put it high on a kitty tree
  • Spread meals out throughout the day (but make sure the total amount fed for the day is the correct amount)
  • Play with your cat or dog using love and attention, not treats

If you’re concerned about your pet’s weight or have questions about feeding and exercise, don’t hesitate to schedule an exam online or call us at 817-478-9238.