Improving Your Pet’s Health: How to Eliminate Pet Obesity

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Dr Donna Spector

Obesity is not just a growing problem for Americans—it’s a problem for our pets. As our lifestyles become more sedentary, is it any surprise that veterinarians report that nearly half of their canine patients are overweight?

What can we do to help our pets?

The first step is admitting that there’s a problem. Of course, our fat cats and dogs are cute, cuddly and adorable. But is the extra weight worth the risk? Obesity is associated with canine and feline diabetes, arthritis, heart and lung disease, and other disorders. So what can we do to take our pet’s health more seriously?

Talk to your veterinarian. Get your pet a full, medical checkup. Ask about current and ideal body weight, and body condition. Our pets spend a lot of time resting. The calories they eat need to match the calories they burn. Talk to your vet about safe ways to maintain a healthy weight for your pet. (Cats, for example, can develop a serious liver disorder from dramatic fasting, so be sure to review your plan with your veterinarian.)

Feed your pet differently. What type of diet is best for your pet? Commercial cat food is often high in carbohydrates, wreaking havoc on our kitties’ blood sugar levels and digestive systems. Halo® holistic cat food is meat based and specifically designed for optimal feline health. Healthy dog food from Halo can help to keep your pooch strong and lean. And watch the portions when you feed your pet: Two to four small portions a day is ideal.

Exercise your pet! Walk the dog. The workout is as good for him or her as it is for you. It’s a bit harder to nudge your cat into activities, but an interactive cat toy or a laser-pointer session could do the trick!

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