Today, October 7, is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day, a day for owners to recognize that one of the most important things they can do for their pet’s overall health is to keep them within a healthy weight range. An estimated 53 percent of dogs and 58 percent of cats in the U.S. are overweight or obese and thus at risk for the associated health risks. It’s important for pet owners to know that it’s up to them to prevent obesity as part of responsible pet ownership.
When a pet is overweight or obese, they’re at a higher risk for many health issues, including respiratory compromise, diabetes, skin problems, heart disease and reduced lifespan.
Pets aren’t in charge of what goes into their food bowl. It’s up to pet owners to ensure that they’re feeding a nutritionally balanced and responsible diet. But avoiding obesity doesn’t just happen at mealtime. Owners should also ensure that their pets are engaging in physical activity so they stay fit and healthy. Some tips for battling the bulge in pets include:
1. Slow down the eating process by feeding a larger-sized kibble that allows pets to chew rather than swallow quickly.
2. Just as with humans, treats are extra calories! Rather than high-calorie packaged treats, consider snacking smarter by offering frozen or canned green beans, baby carrots, steamed zucchini, seedless watermelon, chopped apple or pieces of unflavored rice cakes.
3. Owners should aim to take a brisk daily walk with their dog. As a bonus, you both reap the health benefits! Owners can give cats an opportunity for exercise by playing with a laser pointer or placing the cat food bowl on an elevated surface so they will need to climb or jump to reach their meal (provided they don’t have arthritis).
4. Partner with your veterinarian.
As in all matters concerning your pet’s health, your veterinarian is your best ally to ensure a long and healthy life for your pet. While the subject can be uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to start the conversation about your pet’s weight with your veterinarian.
Source:Press Release Rocket
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