Obesity among animals is becoming a more common problem, and as your pets weight increases, their risk for health problems such as joint pain, diabetes and liver issues also grows, according to a release.
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The Humane Society of Greater Dayton offers tips on how to keep your pet healthy and happy.
- Change your behavior
A pet’s diet can’t change without a commitment from the owner. A successful weight management program will work for your pet, but you’ll have to stick with it, which means you may have to alter your own behaviors. Maybe you give a few too many treats or feed them table scraps or avoid the daily walk for a day or two. For this to work for your pet, you need to make it work for you too. Consider changing your routines; Remove the pet from the room when your family eats a meal and feed all of your pet’s meals from their dish or lower the number of snacks and treats you feed and choose to reward them in other ways than just with food such as extra play time or an extra walk throughout the day.
- Monitor their weight
Each time you go in for your regular checkup, your pet should be weighed by your vet. This will help you keep a record of you pet’s weight and whether or not there have been any drastic changes that could be concerning. Another way to monitor their weight at home is to weigh yourself on the scale and then weigh yourself while holding your pet. Subtract your weight from the latter and you’ll get a rough estimate as to what your pet weighs.
- Exercise daily
Just like humans, regular exercise can be very beneficial to your pet’s overall health. Not only can this increase in activity help in both weight loss and maintenance, but regular exercise helps burn calories, lowers appetite, changes body composition and increases your pet’s resting metabolic rate. Consider walking your dog or chasing your cat around the house to help burn some of their calories. Whether you play fetch or have your cat chase a laser beam around the room, make exercising fun and your pets will be on board to a healthier lifestyle.
- Watch what they eat
There are many ways to show your pets you love them that don’t involve overfeeding. Even though they may give you those sad puppy dogs eyes or bat at your hand begging for some scraps, don’t give in. Instead, sit down with your vet and determine a suitable diet plan for your pet’s breed and size. Their diet should be well-rounded and include fiber and fat, but your vet can help you determine how many times you should feed them during the day and what sort of foods you should feed.