Here's an inconvenient truth: an estimated 45% of U.S. pets are overweight or obese. Basically, our pets are suffering alongside us humans in the obesity epidemic, and for similar causes: eating crappy food and too much of it, not exercising enough, and simply not knowing the facts.
Yeah, yeah, you're probably tired of all the “obesity epidemic” stuff in the news, but if you love your pet, you should know that being overweight can mean premature death. NO JOKE: the Purina PetCare Center performed a study on 48 dogs over a 14-year period and found that overweight or obese dogs live 2 years less than dogs at healthy weight! That's something to think about. All the good grooming and hygiene in the world won't help a dog whose extra poundage has caused arthritis and joint pain; diabetes and insulin resistance; ligament injury; heart disease; respiratory illness; kidney disease; or cancer! And it’s not a matter of “if” these issues will arise, it’s more “when.” (Think of the vet bills, if nothing else!)
The tough part is that we often don’t notice our pets gaining weight since it can happen gradually. And many dog owners also don’t realize that “fat pets” have become so common that a few extra pounds actually seem normal.
Here are some tips for going all Michelle Obama/Richard Simmons on your dog:
1.) Check the label on your dog’s food. Shop around and ask your vet for recommendations on foods that have the best caloric content.
2.) Make sure you are feeding him the correct amount. Overfeeding isn't a fun way to "treat" or "spoil" your dog -- it ain't doing her any favors.
3.) Don’t starve your dog, though – weight loss should be gradual.
4.) Same goes with exercise – if your pup's more fat than fit, don’t force her into a rigorous, sudden exercise routine or she could injure herself. Start slow.
5.) Go easy on the treats. These are often “hidden” sources of unnecessary calories. Give her affection instead!
6.) Keep her hydrated.
7.) Don’t let your pets “graze” throughout the day—they’ll end up consuming too much food.
8.) If you feel you’re doing everything right and yet your pup still isn’t slimming down, visit your vet to make sure there isn’t an underlying medical condition, such as an underactive thyroid, to blame.
9.) Don’t give your dogs human food as a treat! This can not only add to their weight, it can also be very dangerous, as many human foods are toxic to them.
See more tips here: https://www.projectpetslimdown.com/Home/Fitness.
Ahem. Now off to apply these tips to some humans as well (I'm looking in the mirror here...)