How to Handle Pet Obesity


Health of dog breeds

Owning a pet requires dedication, commitment, and in depth pet care. There are basic responsibilities involved with pet care, including vaccinations, medical care, food, and water. There are also additional pet care responsibilities that may be required, depending on your pet?s current needs and health. A commonly overlooked health condition that many pet owners ignore is obesity. Similar to humans, pets need to maintain a healthy weight for optimal health. If you have a pet that is struggling with weight, remember these important weight control factors.

Most pet obesity cases are directly related to their diet. Many pets are not as active as humans, and thus, have a harder time keeping the weight off. Cats especially have a lower activity level with many cats sleeping for about 16 hours per day, on average. Always follow recommended food guidelines, based on your pet?s current weight and size. You can usually find these good intake guidelines on the back of the food bag, the manufacturer website, or with your trusted vet professional.

Lower quality food ingredients may also contribute to overeating and an increase in weight. When foods contain a lot of fillers, the pet never feels satisfied and continues to eat. Changing them to a higher quality type of food can actually reduce their eating habits. However, their food intake should still be monitored and tracked.

Pets should always have access to fresh and clean water. Again, similar to humans, if pets do not have enough water, they can become dehydrated. Dehydration can cause them to eat more or to feel hungrier. Water also acts as a natural filler, making you feel more full after a meal. Ensure that your pet always has access to water, even if they are locked up or outdoors for a long period of time.

Exercise is an important step in controlling your pet?s weight. Proper pet care also includes regular exercise. If you are away from home for many hours during the week, consider getting them a highly interactive exercise toy or hiring a pet walker. You can usually get very affordable pet walking services that will stop by once or twice per day to provide your pet with the exercise they require. Cat health may be more difficult to control when it comes to weight. Many cats that become overweight are never able to lose the weight.

Increase your cat?s exercise with cat toys around the house. Encourage them to play with these toys by sprinkling cat nip on them. The aroma of the cat nip attracts them and may make them more interested in the toys. You can also try physically playing with them with long strings or ropes. Some cats are more likely to exercise and play, if you are involved in the process with them.

Health care
If your pet has poor health, that may also contribute to their weight problem. If you have tried to decrease your pet?s weight with traditional methods, including diet, water, and exercise, you may want to work with your vet professional. They can run some medical tests to see if there is anything else causing the weight increase. Good healthcare for pets is important, so your vet will also continue to monitor their weight and any medical problems associated with the increase in weight. They may also suggest additional animal care weight loss tips.

Monitor weight
You may have to accept that your pet?s weight increase is due somewhat to genetics. Some dog breeds are prone to gaining weight. Although you should not ever reduce their food so much that they are lacking essential nutrients, you will want to continue to monitor them. A little extra weight is acceptable, as long as you are providing them with the necessary health care for animals.

Pet ownership is extremely common in the United States. With about 76.43 million cats in the U.S. and 46.3 million U.S. households with a dog, there are a lot of pet households in the country. Of these many pets, pet obesity is a large problem. Ensure that you are providing your pet with proper pet care and that you are constantly monitoring their weight.