October 12: National Pet Obesity Awareness Day

Obesity is the number one nutritional disease affecting our pets. We seem to have a problem where we are either overfeeding, giving too many treats, or not exercising our pets enough. But we need to recognize that as cute as a chubby cat can be, or as cuddly as an overweight dog can be, we are hurting their health.

By not keeping tabs on their intake, exercise, and dietary needs, our pets are at risk of having the following problems:

1: functional problems in the kidneys, liver, thyroid, and adrenal glands

2: heart, blood vessels, and lungs need to work harder to provide oxygen rich blood and end up working inefficiently at higher capacity

3: the immune system can be negatively affected

4: bones and joints are working harder and arthritis, nerve problems, and strains can occur

5: overweight pets have a harder time grooming themselves which results in poor skin

6: digestive problems can occur such as indigestion or constipation

What can we do to make sure our pets stay on a good path to being healthier? Or start losing weight and become stronger?

1: Schedule an appt with your vet and discuss what diet would be best for you pet. Your vet will determine what type of food and exercise program is best for your pet after checking for disease conditions.

2: The portions you feed your pet may have to change. If your pet normally eats 3 cups of food a day, start reducing that and cut back on the treats.

3: To help your pet from feeling hungry, try feeding more often. It will reduce binging and promote better digestion. Eating slower promotes a more consistent metabolism.

4: Exercise, exercise, exercise!

Change doesn’t happen overnight but if you start today, you may notice in 6 months a slimmer, trimmer, more active pet!

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