22 percent of dog owners and 15 percent of cat owners characterized their pet as normal weight when it was actually overweight or obese.
I have come across several owners lately free feeding their pets and guess what, they are overweight and in some cases very over weight. I feel very sorry for these pets, watching them waddle through the house. Free feeding is filling your pet’s bowl without any limits on how much your pet is eating. In multiple pet households, you are not sure who is eating what. Many cat owners do this and keep their bowl full. I use to do this years ago for my kitty. Not any more!
Pet obesity is one of the top health concerns for our cats and dogs. And all we have to do is watch their diet! Overweight pets are prone to serious health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, constipation, heat intolerance, increased risk under anesthesia, skin, respiratory, liver and urinary tract malfunctions. Because overweight pets feel less like exercising, the cycle continues.
Weight Control Tips
- Feeding recommendation for commercial pet food are generally excessive for most pets. Following label instructions result in feeding 5% more calories than most dogs need.
- When feeding “people” food or your dinner scraps, cut back on their kibble intake for that day.
- Make sure your pet gets plenty of exercise. Walking is good exercise for you and your pet. Take Rover to the beach or pool and swim, run and/or play fetch. If you have multiple dogs, playing with each other is great exercise. Sometimes a human has to initiate this.
- Give treats moderately. When I am training I use regular kibbles so I can give them a lot but not a lot of calories, then cut their kibble amount at feeding time as to not over feed.
HOW TO TELL YOUR DOG IS OVERWEIGHT
Related Link: Association for Pet Obesity Prevention
- Battling Dog Obesity (whole-dog-journal.com)
- Top 7 Ways to Tell if Your Pet is Overweight (about.com)
- Why Free-Feeding is the Wrong Choice for Most Dogs (petmd.com)
- Become an Animal Health Coach (animalnaturopathy.org)