Our Furry Friends are Chunky (and That’s Scary!)

Let’s get real about a touchy subject: even our pets are getting too fat.

A Banfield Pet Hospital study found that 1 out of 3 pets are overweight and as you could guess it the extra pounds come about due to too much food, little exercise, and that we as a society have changed our perspective on extra weight.

We love our pets but allowing them to become overweight (and obese) harms their health and well-being. It isn’t “cute” how Mr. Chompers gets stuck trying to squeeze through the doggy door. It’s time to be proactive in keeping our fur friends at a healthy weight and active lifestyle.

Here are the things you can do to improve your pet’s health:

  1. Exercise

Gasp! What a profoundly unique and alien concept!

Pets need exercise as do we so next time you have a spare minute take them for a walk or dig out toys to get them up and playing. Five minutes is enough to promote a healthy lifestyle to combat heart disease and failure.

Other options include:

  • Hiring a walker
  • Taking them to a park
  • Walking them on a treadmill

You’re in control of the pet’s lifestyle so there’s only one person to blame if they’re getting too hefty.

  1. Better Chow

Processed kibble which the main ingredient is wheat does not provide enough nutrients for the health of your pet. Wheat-based food also increases gastro intestinal problems.

The better solution is a protein-rich product that includes super foods like beef liver, apples, carrots, kelp, and other fantastic, natural ingredients found in brands such as The Missing Link. The cost of this food is slightly higher than the bulk bags found at big retail stores yet warrant the price for its quality.

Good chow also helps to improve their:

  • Dental
  • Coat
  • Eye-sight
  • Energy
  • Joint & muscles

Pets are like us in that they are what they eat. Give them better, healthier options and they will lead better, healthier lives.

  1. Portion Control

How many of you fill the pet’s bowl to the brim? We do it because it’s a visual cue and easy but the pet doesn’t always need a full bowl. It’s better to weigh the food according to the size, breed, and age of the dog for proper nutrition and portion control.

AARP has suggestions to help with portion control:

  • Swap bowls for food puzzles to make them work for it
  • Slow them down with stones mixed into the food so they must eat around them
  • Don’t give them table scraps

A properly portioned diet will keep the weight steady and prevent issues and costs for vet visits associated with weight gain.

We Owe It to Them

Pets play an important role in our lives – they:

  • Bring us cheer on when we’re feeling low
  • Help reduce our stress and blood pressure
  • Keep us active, responsible, and secure
  • Add to our social lives and network

When we overfeed and under-exercise our pets we’re preventing their ability to lead an active life as they would in the wild. They become prone to many diseases and ailments that will lay waste to our finances and pull at our heart strings.

All this is preventable if we take a proactive approach to how we care for our furry friends. They’re there for you… won’t you be there for them?

 

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