A lot of people tend to think a fat pet is a happy pet. And even though a big round ball of fur is pretty cute, it is a growing epidemic. Just like humans, animal obesity is on the rise. Did you know that over 50% of pets are obese? More than that, the worst part is that most pet owners don’t even realize it’s a problem. Experts like APOP founder Dr. Ernie Ward even have a special term for it, “this is what I refer to as the “fat pet gap” or the normalization of obesity by pet parents. In simplest terms, we’ve made fat pets the new normal.”
What that means for our pets
Just like us, animal obesity comes with a slew of weight-related conditions. All of which can negatively affect your pet’s quality of life. Some of these include, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, osteoarthritis, hypertension, and trouble breathing. Sadly nothing about that is cute, even if they look adorable with all that fluff, it could be wreaking havoc on their bodies.
Ways you can battle the bulge
First, don’t leave food in their bowl all day. It’s unnatural for animals to have easy access to food 24/7. Our pets were built for hunting and working for their meal. That means their genetic make up is hardwired to burn calories to get calories. The fatty foods we get at the store doesn’t help either. But do not suddenly change their food. It is best to gradually mix in the new food with the old food to get them used to the new taste.
Also, start measuring the food according to either the chart on the back of the food or your vet’s recommendation. Give them healthy treats in between meals. Give them healthy low calorie treats until they are used to the new portions.
And don’t forget the exercise! One of the best ways you can help is with regular walking. And if you don’t have the time, make sure to give us a call to schedule services.
Animal obesity is not a problem our pets should have. It’s a problem we have created for them. It can be easier just to give them food all day instead of hearing them beg. But, that’s not what’s best for them and really what’s best for them is all that matters.