National Pet Obesity Awareness Month

dog on scaleAmerican pets are gaining weight and becoming obese in record numbers today. Here are some easy tips to help you fight your pet’s battle of the bulge.

Feed Smaller, Frequent Meals

If you give your pet a big bowl of food once a day, he may be getting more food than he needs. Larger meals means more time between meals. During these times, your pet’s metabolism will slow down, which means that his body stores fat. Eating smaller meals more often is healthier for your pet.

Don’t have food out for your pet all the time. Even if it looks like he just nibbles now and then, he will consume more if it’s freely available. You don’t need to overfeed your pet to treat him like a good dog or cat. Give him attention and affection as a reward.

 Types of Foods that Help Your Pet

Many dogs love bananas, apples, pumpkin and yes, green beans. Introduce these types of healthy foods into his diet slowly, so you don’t shock his system. Cats are more difficult to coerce into eating fruits or vegetables, since they are pickier eaters.

Dogs – and cats – do not need table scraps, even if it makes cleaning your dishes easer when a meal is done. Your pet isn’t a garbage disposal. Feed him healthy, high fiber- low fat foods that are balanced for overweight dogs.

Your pet’s small feedings don’t need to actually be meals. You can chop up fruits or veggies that he will learn to appreciate, even if he doesn’t love them right away. Crackers, bread and pretzels are not good for your pet, states PetMD.com. They actually can make him feel hungrier.

It may sound funny, but if your pet won’t eat certain foods, eat some of them yourself while he is watching. Pets, especially dogs, love to mimic their people. Stay away from onions and grapes when feeding your dog, since they can cause an upset stomach.

Activities

Losing weight can be enjoyable for you and your pet. Go outdoors and toss a Frisbee or a ball with your dog. He will enjoy the play and you’ll enjoy the relaxing time spent alone with your pet. Don’t overwork him if he isn’t accustomed to getting much exercise. Work him up to it a little at a time.

If you are busy, drop your pet off at daycare. Your pet will benefit from the exercise and social activities of a quality doggie daycare program.  At our doggie daycare, we ensure our pet customers have a lot of fun while burning off the calories.

 

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