As obesity continues to be a growing issue in America, we’re learning that it’s not just affecting people – it’s hurting our animals also. It’s quite simple, really. If we get lazy, our animals suffer. If we sit on the couch eating potato chips all day, your dog lays around and does nothing but eat. Without you, your dog cannot lead a healthy life. Your dog cannot take itself on a walk or run on the treadmill to lose weight. It’s up to you to be there for your dogs and cats and give them the healthiest, longest life you can. So it’s time to face the facts.
Can you believe that a startling 54% of cats and dogs in America are obese?! That’s more than HALF! This is so sad. Obesity can have many damaging side effects for animals, just as it can for humans. Obesity leads to:
- a shorter life
- heart disease
- high blood pressure
- many types of cancer
Sound familiar? You got it. Human obesity can have the exact same side effects. The only difference is, we can control our weight. Animals cannot. So, let’s be honest, is your dog obese? Consult this weight calculator to find out.
Chubby animals are not cute or “extra fluffy”, despite popular belief. They are living beings that deserve a healthier life. Your dog may be suffering and have the onset of cancer or asthma and you don’t even know it! A couple of extra pounds on a dog or cat is equivalent to about 40 human pounds.
Animal obesity is easy to avoid. Here are some tips to keep your dog at a healthy weight:
- Take them on daily walks.
- Do not free feed – feed your dog on a schedule and make sure it is the proper amount of food. Consult your veterinarian if you don’t know the best amount to feed your dog.
- Play! In the summer it’s hot, in the winter it’s cold. Play fetch, tug or hide and seek inside your house to get your dog’s heart racing and blood flowing!
- Consider other outdoor activities like swimming, hiking or agility.
- Have regular veterinary visits to make sure your dog is healthy and at a good weight.
- Limit their intake of human food and treats.
I admit it, there was a point where Wynston was approaching the overweight mark. In fall 2014 he hit 8.8lbs. That’s about .8lbs too many. I’m not making excuses for myself, but fall was a rough time for me since I was terribly missing my brother who went into the Army. I lost a lot of motivation and Wynston suffered. I feel horrible and looking back, I should have made his health my priority, instead of giving him all of the holiday food he wanted! I’m happy to say that Wynston is down to 8lbs and when we went to the vet three weeks ago, the doctor said Wyn is at the perfect weight. Wynston became lazier when he was heavier and now he’s back to being his crazy, playful self. It only took about two months for him to lose the extra weight and although .8lbs doesn’t sound like a lot, it is for a small dog!
Is your dog or cat overweight? Today is the day you should start doing something about it! Your animal will be much better off and you will have them in your life longer. What’s better than that?!
Pet obesity resources: