Your Pet’s New Year’s Resolution: Lighten Up!

Your Pet’s New Year’s Resolution: Lighten Up!

If your pet has been looking a little too well-fed lately, they’re not alone: The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention reports that over half the dogs and cats in the U.S. are significantly overweight. Just like people, these animals are more likely to develop diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer.

But pets don’t make resolutions, so they depend on us to keep them healthy. This is especially true with cats—who don’t usually have the same opportunities for activity that dogs do. For both species, activity is important, but weight loss is mostly about diet. Here are a few things you can do to help keep your pet trim and healthy:

Choose the right food, put your pet on a schedule, and measure the amount you feed your pet every day. No all-day grazing! Your Roseway veterinarian can help you decide what food is best for your pet.

Watch those treats.Pets love a good snack, but many treats are high in sugars and fats. Dental chews (not too many!) are great for cats. For canines, try baby carrots, celery, or cucumbers instead of cookie-style treats.

Look for active feeding toys and puzzles to slow your pets down when they eat. You can also purchase auto-feeders or smart feeders to help you manage timing and amounts. This is especially helpful if you have a multi-cat household where different felines are on different diets.

And yes, exercise helps. Dogs can go on walks or take up agility, but for cats, exercise is really all about play: chasing a toy, laser light or feather for as little as 20 minutes a day will help!

Whether it’s people or pets, losing weight is all about patience and consistency. You may not notice results right away, but stick with it—you will! Have question or need some help getting your pet on a plan? Request an appointment online or call us at (503) 446-2450.