October 13th is Pet Obesity Awareness Day! Just like people, pets are healthier if they stay at or near their ideal weight. Here, a local Thorold, ON vet discusses keeping your pet trim.
This is one area where it’s very easy to slip up. Just giving your cute pet a few calories too many each day can cause them to gain a pound a year. That’s a lot for a dog or cat! For a smaller animal, it’s even more significant. Ask your vet for advice on portion sizes.
Treats aren’t bad in and of themselves. They can actually be quite beneficial. For one thing, they’re great for training and bonding. They’re also a good way to brighten up your pet’s day. However, you need to be careful not to go overboard. Snacks should only make up about 5 percent of your animal companion’s daily caloric intake. It’s also important to stick with healthy, suitable options.
Keeping a close eye on your pet’s weight is helpful in allowing you to nip any gain in the bud. For many pets, the easiest way to check this is to weigh yourself, then pick up your furry pal and weigh yourself again. The difference between the numbers is your pet’s weight.
Physical activity is just as important for our furry pals as it is for us. With dogs, daily walks and play sessions should provide Fido with sufficient exercise. Cats are a bit trickier. You probably won’t be able to get Fluffy to run laps around the kitchen, and she’s more likely to nap on a treadmill than use one. Your best bet is to play with her daily, using toys you control. It will also help to get her some kitty furniture that will encourage her to jump and climb, like a cat tower. You can even find kitty running wheels, which are basically larger versions of the ones made for pocket pets. Speaking of pocket pets, these little guys should have things to climb, run on, and explore.
Your vet really should be the ultimate authority on your pet’s weight and diet. Ask for specific advice on this, including tips on serving sizes, caloric goals, and safe snacks.
Do you have questions about your pet’s health or weight? Call us, your local Thorold, ON animal clinic, today!