Oct 192012

I see a lot of animals in my walk of life, as do you.  I also see a lot of fat cats and fat dogs and I cringe because I know these animals are loved…loved sometimes to their early death by overfeeding.  Fat is not beautiful when it comes to our pets.

From a health standpoint, an animal that is overweight has a high risk for diabetes, hip and joint issues, tumors and cancer.  In addition, they just simply don’t feel as good,  just like us when we put on a few extra pounds.  If you can’t see an indention at your dog or cat’s waistline or their belly is rounded, it is very likely they are carrying extra pounds that are affecting their well being.

Some of the habits I notice that lead to an animal being overweight are simple to correct and since we are their caretakers, it is our obligation to do better.

  1. Feed a premium food where meat is the first product and avoid colored kibble and corn or cornmeal or sugar as an ingredient.
  2. Do NOT free feed.  Do you carry around a bag of corn chips to munch on 24/7?
  3. Read the suggested measurement on the bag for the weight of your animal.  Be careful to use the weight the dog or cat SHOULD be, not what they actually weigh.  Go with the lowest amount on the list for the weight to start.  Just because it doesn’t “look” to be enough, doesn’t mean it isn’t.
  4.  If you change foods, adjust the amount to the new chart.  Some foods, because of their high meat content, require less each feeding.
  5. The chart on the bag is for a day, not each feeding.
  6. Use a correct measuring scoop and make it level not rounded when you measure the food.  If you use a “cup” scoop and you are to only feed 1/3 cup, I’ll bet you overdo it and the few extra calories each meal adds up over time.
  7. Raw carrots and raw or canned unsalted green beans are low fat snacks that dogs love if you feel they need more food..mostly to make you feel better.
  8. If you feed table food, reduce the amount of dog food or don’t give any at all that day and remember our table food is usually high calorie.
  9. And, of course, your animal should get exercise, even if you don’t.

I can only imagine how veterinarians are distressed when we bring in a fat animal with health issues that are brought on by something as simple as our “feeding them to death”.  They try to tell us without making us defensive, but we often have all kinds of arguments and go on about our bad habits.  Too bad, because veterinary care is expensive and none of us want to lose our pet to a disease that is preventable.

Let’s do our part to keep our pets lean and healthy for many years to come!

 Posted by at 1:04 am

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