Are your pets overweight?
By Aimee Heckel
Americans are not the only ones in this country struggling with an obesity epidemic. The majority of household pets are overweight, too, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
The association reports that 53 percent of dogs and 58 percent of cats are overweight or obese, and that number continues to rise.
It’s enough of an issue to have sparked the Joan Rivers’ show, “My Fat Pet,” a Facebook group on the topic last year (My Fat Pet, featuring “fluffy felines, portly pooches and other fat pets”), Buzzfeed lists and more.
Is your pet fat? Here are some ways to tell if your pet may have a weight problem:
- You cannot feel his or her ribs.
- Your pet is obsessed with food.
- The summer heat is especially hard on your pet.
- Your pet cannot keep up with normal activity or play time.
- Read more about overweight pets here.
Keep your pet in shape! Here are some tips to keep your pet fit, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association:
1. Limit your pet’s portions. Read the label and feed only the recommended amount. Don’t leave food sitting out for your pet to “portion control” himself.
2. Cut back on the treats. Find other ways to reward your pet. An occasional snack is fine, but overdoing it can put your little buddy at risk.
3. Ditch the table scraps. Giving your pet human food can not only be fattening, but potentially dangerous. Some food, such as chocolate and onions, can kill a dog.
4. Teach your pet to eat slower. Try giving your pet smaller meals over a period of time to help regulate the metabolism.
5. Stay active. This goes for not only dogs, but cats, too. Play with your furry friend. Check out these interactive cat toys at Petsmart, such as this inexpensive tunnel or a furry little “teaser” for less than $6.
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