We all set goals related to our health and wellness as a new year resolution. These types of goals are not only beneficial to us but making the same resolution for our pets, nutrition, and body condition is important in the pet’s overall health. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention found that more than 50% of cats and dogs are overweight/obese. We will discuss why it is so important for the health of your pet and how you can help your pet in becoming happier and healthier.
Pets that are overweight might look happy and healthy, but the reality is maintaining the appropriate body condition, pets will feel more comfortable, happier, and live even longer. The control group needs the medical intervention for chronic conditions sooner than the lean-fed group. Below are the medical risk factors which are associated with obesity in pets.
Orthopedic disease- not only arthritis but these severe orthopedic injuries can result in herniated intervertebral disc or even a torn cranial cruciate ligament.
*Metabolic and endocrine disorders such as diabetes
Decrease in lifespan and quality of life
Now, as we know that, why maintaining appropriate body weight is vital to the pets’ health and its well- being, here are a few steps to ensure that your pet is in the best possible health.
Plan an evaluation with your vet
With the veterinarian, you can discuss some concrete goals as what you should see physically, as you achieve the weight loss, and what is the ideal weight range for your pet. Your veterinarian can make recommendations regarding the diet and caloric intake. Pets recommended exercise should also be evaluated in case there are any conditions that may affect your pet.
Reducing calories and intake portions of feeding
Your vet can help your pet in this area. They can recommend a protein-rich and low-calorie diet. Your vet can evaluate the pet’s daily needs and recommend a daily calorie diet that will help your pet lose/gain or maintain a certain weight needed as per age. Portioned meal feedings are very important, especially when it comes to cats. Leaving the food out gives pets the opportunity to steal food from other housemates and results in overeating.
The fitness that we plan for ourselves, we would start from our couch, and then only we can think of running into a marathon! Work with your vet and make an exercise routine that is safe and maintainable for your pet. Make sure walks are included at a brisk pace for a smaller duration of the walk, which helps in increasing your pet’s heart rate. Similarly walks with lots of sniffing and bathroom breaks will not be effective in increasing the fitness of your pet. Dedicate the amount of time to the brisk walk.
Get the complete family involved
The pets’ nutritional health is so important that the entire household must be involved in the process and is in support of the decision. One slip of unwanted meal can really set back the complete progress, and not maintaining a good routine can result in severe problems!