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Pet Obesity – Are You Contributing to Your Pet’s Shortened Life?

There is an obesity problem that exists today not only in many of our children, as well as many adults, but also in our pets. As many families see their pet as a member of the family and ‘spoil’ them accordingly, research shows that this is actually hurting them in many cases. Pet obesity, just like obesity in humans causes higher risk of diseases as well as shortened lives. Some of the problems causes by our own over-pampered pooches include: severe respiratory, cardiac, metabolic and orthopedic, which are all severely worsened by obesity. So, why is this happening? I feed them the right food, right? In many cases, the obesity is simply caused by those little things people tend to do out of habit, not really taking in what the effects will be in the future.

Many pet owners tend to ‘overdo’ it in the doggie treat arena where we are giving our pets way too many treats which have a surprising amount of calories in them (over 100 calories in many!). Also, remember those scraps at the dinner table? “Oh it’s not that much. I’ll just give it to Spooner here. He’ll love it!” This scenario is one of the main reasons our pets are fat. Of course, many families will not admit that their pet is obese, so there are also tests we can utilize to assist with finding out if and how much our pet have become obese. Two of the biggest steps would be to turn your pet over on their back and feel their chest. You should be able to feel their rib cage with no problem. If you cannot, or can hardly feel it then your pet has quite a layer of fat on top of there. Next, just by looking at the pet you should be able to see their waist tucking in just before the hips. If these two things are not present, then it may be time to help that furry friend slim down.

There are many ways to help your pet slim down, one being a proper diet. Controlling portions and the quality of what you feed them obviously has a lot to do with their overall weight. There are a lot of pet diet foods out there so try to check those out while out shopping. Outdoor exercise is very important as well, both physically and mentally. Such games as a simple fetch with your dog gets that blood flowing and those muscles moving. Also, for cats try to play some indoor games or simply take them outside in a controlled setting, maybe with a leash. I take the cat out on the deck in that manner. She really enjoys all the craziness of the outside world, even though she is an outdoor cat. Just getting outside and allowing your pet the opportunity to socialize with the other critters in the area will really give your pet a boost mentally.

Pets are in many ways just like us and in many ways we already see that; however, in many cases there are many areas where we all could use a little improvement with our pet care. One thing to remember is that even though we pamper our pets with all kinds of love and treats, we really need to watch how we do it. That love can come in forms of a proper diet and exercise as well as fun activities. Believe me, if they could talk they would be thanking us like crazy for taking such good care of them.