According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), an estimated 58% of Cats and 54% of Dogs in the United States are overweight or obese. Just like in humans, these conditions can cause a number of serious pet health issues from diabetes to arthritis. Unfortunately, many pet owners just do not realize that their pets are a little over weight. So, Do you have a “Fluffy” Kitty or Puppy?
Weight increases seem to sneak up on animals, but actually it is a gradual process stemming from the bad diet and lack of activity. Indoor cats have a tendency to increase their lounging skills, especially as they get older. Dogs are not much different, and you may even find them looking forward to their favorite TV Shows.
How can you tell if your pet is over weight?
A quick way to check if your pet is a healthy weight is if Ribs are easily felt, Tucked abdomen – no sagging stomach, Waist when viewed from above.
Your Pet is Overweight if it is Difficult to feel ribs under fat, Sagging stomach – you can grab a handful of fat, Broad, flat back, and No waist.
So, how can we combat the feline loaf and the phat canine?
There are a lot of options when it comes to your pet’s diet. You can look into reducing the food quantity, type of food, or food quality. There are a variety of medical opinions on how much you should feed dogs and cats, but there are some general calorie ranges that most Vets agree on. Cats up to 10 lbs. should eat between 180 and 200 calories. Dogs up to 10 lbs. should eat between 200 and 275 calories, up to 20 lbs. between 325 and 400 calories, and up to 50 lbs. between 700 and 900 calories. These ranges will change based upon your particular pet and his/her activity level and health.
Dogs are typically a little bit easier to get to the “gym.” You can bring them for a walk or run or maybe even to a dog park. In general, get em’ movin’. But inactive cats are a little more difficult. Try to play with them to increase their activity. Get new toys that they may enjoy or invent a new strategy for them to earn a treat like climbing up a cat house or just jumping on top of the bed to get the treat.
The best thing about exercising your pet, you will also get a little bit of exercise too. But, if you need a little bit more motivation and ideas, check out this link.