October 6, 2010

People are busy so our pets suffer. We are working more, running from one place to the other, traveling, keeping up with the “other” kids, aging parents, and so much more in our schedules. While we are doing all this, our pets sit at home day after day laying around getting fat. Not everyone has this problem but an estimated 40% of dogs and 60% of cats are obese acording to APOP.

Excess weight on pets can lead to serious conditions, including osteoarthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. This can also exacerbate chewing and scratching in some animals, not to mention anxiety.

Because of the limited time we have to walk the dog or play with the cat, we make up for the guilt by giving them unhealthy treats and food scraps. Let’s all look at better ways to take care of our animals.

Here are a few tips:


  • Read the Labels: Try not to use animal by-products, make sure food has plenty of whole foods such as beef and chicken. Portion Control: Remember YOU control your pet’s food. Use a measuring cup and feed the recommended amount on the package. Smaller more frequents meals are best.
  • Give Healthy Snacks: Use a few pieces of kibble, fresh fruits, vegetables, such as apples, green beans and carrots. Chew toys, play time, a long walk and belly rub are also healthy rewards.

Exercise Advice:

  • Get Moving: 45 minutes a day of a regular walk or swim is all they need. Exercise does humans and pets good. If pressed for time consider a dog walker or engage your children or grandchildren.
  • Play Time: Cats can use two active 10 minute play sessions per day. Many toys can be used inside the house. Dogs can use a good play of fetch for 10 minutes at a time. (Make sure plenty of water is available).

A healthy weight pet not only will be healthier but will also live longer