by A. Grano on May 9th, 2011 at 7:00 am
Obesity in adults and children has been said to have reached “epidemic” proportions in recent times– and the same is becoming true for our pets! Overweight canines are at an increased risk for many health issues, such as joint problems and arthritis to heart disease.
What’s to blame?
Similar to humans, the two biggest culprits contributing to overweight pets are lack of exercise and poor diet. Consult your vet before making any major dietary or exercise changes, and start your pet off gradually to avoid digestive upsets and build up fitness levels.
Tapering off treats & setting routine meals
Many processed pet treats are low in nutritional value and high in fat, sugar and other additives. Instead of rewarding your pet with these treats, offer a little more affection and TLC time in the form of a belly rub, thorough brushing or “lap time” while you watch TV.
Meet the nutritional guidelines necessary for your pet’s age and healthy weight, but avoid feeding your pet table scraps or snacks throughout the day. Most pets are adequately suited to eat only twice a day- which is likely less than he or she is eating now!
In addition, keep your pet away from the kitchen during family mealtimes to make feeding less tempting.
Get your pet moving (more)
While not all pets require the same level of activity, it’s important to properly identify the needs of your breed. For instance, high energy dogs such as Airedale Terriers, Dalmatians, Greyhounds, and Weimaraners require more vigorous daily exercise. Again, check with your vet for the best program for your pet.
For starters, increase the duration and intensity of your pet’s walks. Besides aiding weight loss, brisk walking is said to help promote a stronger heart, lower blood pressure, boost energy, and even alleviate behavior problems.
Another great activity for pets is swimming, as it is offers a comprehensive yet low-impact workout that targets many muscle groups, plus builds endurance. Swimming is also particularly suited for dogs with arthritis for these reasons.
A classic game of fetch can even do wonders for your pet. For more advanced pets, there are even competitive forms of organized play such as Frisbee teams. Dogs that need extra behavior training will greatly benefit from this form of exercise.
SlenderPet™ Promotes healthy metabolism and efficient digestion for a healthy, normal body weight