JACKSONVILLE, Florida – We all watch our waistlines, but despite everything, it is estimated that 70% of adults are overweight or obese. Would it surprise you to know that the statistics are almost as bad for our pets?
The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention reports that 56% of dogs and 60% of cats in the United States are large apes. And it’s just as bad for them as it is for us.
If your pet is carrying too much weight, it can cause arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, cancer, heart disease and respiratory disease.
If that’s not enough to get you to stop feeding your four-legged family members those table scraps, here’s another shocking statistic: Obesity takes nearly two years from a dog’s life.
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To help your dog lose weight, feed him foods that are high in protein and low in fat. They produce optimal weight loss because protein and fiber stimulate the metabolism.
It is important to eliminate table scraps and treats. Feeding green beans and other vegetables is a good alternative to treats.
There is a wide variety of commercial and prescription dog foods available in canned and kibble form that are formulated for weight loss and maintenance. Homemade diets are not recommended as they often lack daily vitamin and mineral requirements.
Vets say you need to make these dietary changes gradually, so as not to upset your pet’s gastrointestinal tract. Unless instructed otherwise by your veterinarian, once a new food is purchased, mix half of the new food with half of the old food and feed that mixture for seven days. After that, you can safely feed the new food only.
Exercise is as important as diet in achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight. There are a variety of options for exercise, including 30 minutes a day of walking on a leash. You can divide this into 10 minute increments.
Outdoor games, treadmill training, and swimming also help. Taking your pet to doggy day care for an afternoon two to three times a week can help them play and exercise.
Your pet will thank you and be healthier and around a lot longer to love you.
We know how much our viewers love to share photos of their furry babies. We asked you to “Show us your chonks” and boy did you deliver! We have nearly 600 photos! Check out a few of them in our photo gallery above and click on the post below to scroll – and start your weekend with a smile.
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