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I love reading stories and information about pets which could help both owners and animals.  

Monday, April 28, 2014

Are Your Pets Fat?

By: Laurie Brzostowski

As the Owner/President of Snaggle Foot Dog Walks and Pet Care you can imagine how many cats and dogs I see on a daily basis.  The saddest part about this is that some pets are so seriously overweight it is starting to cause health issues.  Unfortunately, the owners don't seem to want to hear about it or they just don't "see" it.

Last week one of my clients doggies had a severe 4 minute seizure.  We took the doggie to the vet and called the client.  While we were at the vet, we weighed the doggie.  He was 72 lbs.  He is a beagle/basset hound mix and should weight no more than 35 to 40 lbs.  When I told the client how much he weighed, the client was shocked.  I don't know how he could be shocked.. you could tell the poor doggie is overweight and struggling to walk, etc.

I am not saying that the seizure was associated to his weight, however, the vet put the doggie on a strict diet.

I know some people who buy their doggies Happy Meals from McDonalds or ice cream cones from Dairy Queen.  This type of food is not good for them.. it is is not good for humans either, but especially not good for dogs and/or cats.

So to everyone out there, it is VERY important that in order to keep your pets healthy and happy is to make sure you are feeding them a high quality food, watching their weight, exercise, and no "people snacks".

Here are some tips on keeping your pets at a healthy weight:

  1. Correct Diet:  Overweight animals consume more calories than they require. Work with your veterinarian to determine your pet’s caloric requirements, select a suitable food and calculate how much to feed. The diet should contain a normal level of a moderately fermentable fiber and the type of fat that prevents the skin and coat from deteriorating during weight loss. Diets that dilute calories with high fiber lead to increased stool volumes, frequent urges to defecate and variable decreases in nutrient digestibility.
  2. Exercise:  Increasing physical activity can be a valuable contributor to both weight loss and maintenance. Regular exercise burns more calories, reduces appetite, changes body composition and will increase your pet’s resting metabolic rate.
  3. Owner Behavior Modification: A successful weight management program requires permanent changes in the behaviors that have allowed the pet to become overweight. Perhaps you are giving your pet too many treats, for example, or not giving him enough opportunities to exercise.
  4. Owner Commitment:  Are you committed to making sure your pets are at their correct weight? Here are some important things you can do:
    - Remove the pet from the room when the family eats.
    - Feed your pet several small meals throughout the day.
    - Feed all meals and treats in the pet's bowl only.
    - Reduce snacks or treats.
    - Provide non-food related attention.

Overweight pets can develop serious illnesses so make sure you are taking the proper steps to keep them at a healthy weight.

You are the pet parent.  It is your responsibility to make sure your pets are healthy and happy.

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