Weight loss is one of the most common goals people make during the new year. Perhaps it’s being bombarded by media saturated with celebrities photo-shopped thin and flawless that makes people want to lose weight. Maybe people feel gross after eating 10 lbs. of sweets at party after party. It could even be a renewed sense of the value of their health. Whatever their motivations, people consistently choose weight loss as a New Year’s Resolution.
But what about pets? Most pets don’t choose New Year’s Resolutions of their own, but maybe they should! The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that between 25 and 40 percent of dogs and cats are overweight. This can have serious medical consequences, including a shortened lifespan and painful arthritis. If you want to make losing weight a goal for your pet, here are some steps you can incorporate into your regimen:
- Determine if your pet is a healthy weight. You should take your pet to the vet if you are unsure. Professionals are there to help you with all your pet health concerns. If your pet is very noticeably overweight, get started with these other tips.
- Go on walks together. You can really get some great benefits! They’ll get exercise, you’ll get exercise, you get to have fun and bond together!
- Control their diet. Sometimes people overfeed without realizing it. “A cup of food,” sure, but what size cup? Is this a standard cup, or just a scoopable container? Are you the only one feeding the pet, or have you been accidentally doubling up by having more than one family member feed them? How many treats are you giving (here’s a tip: break treats in half to give them more often)? These are all important, basic questions to begin with. If these issues are squared up, then it might be time to look for some foods made to help your pet lose weight.