The percentage of cats and dogs that are obese – defined as excessively overweight – is on the rise, according to the most recent survey done by The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.
The study shows pet owners are confused by the overwhelming number of pet foods, fad diets and conflicting advice. And while obesity can be linked to disease, age and genetics, it is most often a result of poor lifestyle choices.Getting our pets to a healthy weight requires working with our veterinarians to help select a nutrition plan that ensures our pets get enough nutrients and calories for their breed, age and level of activity. As with our own weight management, incorporating a few simple, common sense solutions can help us help our furkids reach their fighting weight.
For dogs, regular structured walks are important for physical health and socialization. Obedience training is great for pups or rescue dogs since it not only increases physical activity, but also socializes them and challenges their brains.For cats, dogs, birds and small pets, there are an enormous selection of food and treat puzzle toys for any age or life stage, which not only challenge pets mentally, but also slows down eating to improve digestion and create a feeling of satiety.
Treat them Right!
Getting creative with treats is easy! Look for healthier, low calorie treat options with limited ingredients you know are healthy. 5 Calorie Superfood Dog Treats contain 4 natural ingredients rich in fiber (to keep them satiated), plus Omega 3 fatty acids (to promote healthy skin and coat).By lodging a few treats inside an inexpensive shin bone, they're likely burn off more calories than they consume - while they "earn" their rewards - all while stimulating their mind and preventing boredom.
Whether you have a bird, small pet, cat - or horse - apples are an excellent, healthy treat since apple pectin is a natural source of probiotics and fiber. Tasty Mini Apple Dices are a low calorie, portion controlled snack with NO added sugar or preservatives and a long shelf life (NO dicing or spoiled apples!)
Keeping simple, healthy, portion controlled snacks on hand helps us better manage our pet's weight (not to mention our own!) When combined with a realistic, simple goal, such as walking Max for 20 minutes after dinner 3 times a week, we develop easy habits to help us manage and maintain our pet's weight - as well as our own!
Wishing you all a happy, healthy spring!