March BLOG – spring slim down! Weight loss for your pets!

Spring time = slim time!

In a study done in 2017 on dogs and cats in the US, it was found that an astounding 56% of dogs and 60% of cats were considered overweight or obese by their veterinarian.   Over half of both species of pets are overweight!  This translates to over 100 MILLION dogs and cats who are overweight in the US alone!  (information cited from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention website)

What is happening America??  How much food our pets eat daily is something that we can 100% control – they don’t have the ability to go into the fridge when they are feeling a bit peckish….so why the fatties?  A small weight increase in them translates to big numbers in humans – a 14 pound cat is equivalent to an average sized man weighing 237 pounds!  Those few little pounds for us, make a big difference for our furry friends!  Being overweight has been linked to so many health concerns, including endocrine disorders, such as diabetes, and early onset of arthritis.

So what can we do? The very first thing – is get your pet evaluated by your veterinarian!  Your vet is going to be invaluable in assisting with serious weight loss.  They can help calculate what your pet should be eating, and can help you formulate a diet as a crucial part of weight loss!  They can also examine your pet and potentially run bloodwork to ensure there isn’t a medical cause that could be the root of the weight issue.  Once you have a diet plan, then get exercising!  Frequent fast paced walks – no strolls in the park…you need to get moving!  Using a laser pointer works for cats, and moving food bowls around so they have to work for their food is a good idea too.  For dogs who still seem hungry, fresh veggies work as a nice low calorie treat!  Carrots, broccoli, or zucchini are favorites!  Remember – you control their diet, so use that to get in control of their weight!  Happy March everyone!!