Wednesday, October 11 is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day, which originated as a way to prevent and reduce obesity-related health issues in pets. Obesity not only makes a huge impact on an animal’s health, but also on their general well-being, as it makes it difficult to run, play and breathe properly. It’s never easy to turn down a food request from our furry friend, but it’s necessary in order to make sure they stay healthy and happy. Make sure to abide by these tips to keep your best friend at their ideal weight:
It may be difficult for you to visually determine if your pet is obese, so make sure they receive a yearly wellness exam with your veterinarian. Here, they will be weighed and your vet can tell you what the ideal weight is for your pet. Your veterinarian will also determine if there are any underlying health obesity-related health issues.
Weigh your pet at home. It may be difficult, and your home scale might not be quite as accurate as the one at the doctor’s office, but it will give you a general idea of what your pet weighs and a way to keep track if that number starts to creep up.
Be aware of what your pet is eating. Is your pet eating a healthy, appropriate-sized portion of food each day, or is your pup all too eager to oblige when your toddler is feeding them crackers during snack time? It’s important to be aware of what your pet is consuming and to keep this amount in check.
-Feed them high-quality food. It may go without saying, but not all pet foods are created equal. Be sure to ask your veterinarian for a recommendation on what food would be suit your pet’s lifestyle and activity level.
Take a hike….with your pet! Taking your pet on walks obviously works better for dogs than cats, but it’s important for both cats and dogs to receive daily exercise. A laser pointer or fun toy for your cat can work wonders in regard to getting them moving. A game of fetch in the backyard or a swim at the lake are good ways to burn a few calories with your canine companion.
Finally, if in doubt about your pet’s weight, make an appointment with your veterinarian to have them evaluated. To make an appointment with Little Traverse Bay Veterinary Clinic, please call 231-622-6363.