Helping Overweight Pets Lose Weight
Is your pet tipping the scales with extra weight? According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), 1 in every 2 pets is overweight. Even more shocking, 1 out of every 5 pets are obese. Just like overweight humans, overweight pets are at greater risk for a multitude of health problems, including diabetes, cancer, kidney failure and joint problems.
Gresham Pet Weight Loss Tips
Not sure if your pet is overweight? APOP launched a pet weight calculator to help pet owners better understand the difference that a few extra pounds can make to a pet’s health. For example, a 90 pound female Labrador is the equivalent of a 186 pound, 5’4” woman. A 12 pound Pomeranian is equivalent to a 249 pound 5’4” female.
If your pet needs to lose a few pounds, what should you do? Start by checking your pet’s food label. Many pet owners are surprised to learn that pet food claiming to be “chicken” is made primarily from animal byproducts and corn, rather than whole chicken. Any ingredients listed before the first fat source are the main ingredients. If these ingredients are corn, meat by-product, corn gluten or soy, this packaged food may not be giving your pet the nutrition he needs to thrive. Eating foods high in corn gluten and animal by-products are equivalent to fast food dinners. No one should eat a Big Mac every night, especially not your pet!
Our Gresham veterinarian offers nutrition counseling as part of our Gresham and Troutdale veterinary services to help overweight pets lose weight and safely get active. As part of your pet’s wellness program, our veterinarian may recommend reducing your pet’s daily food intake or changing to prescription brand of food. Our Gresham veterinarian can also help pets that need special veterinary dietary requirements, such as grain-free foods.
If your dog is overweight, add an extra walk to your day. Regular visits to doggy daycare can help your pet be more active while you are at work. Even overweight cats can burn calories through stimulating games, like playing with yarn or other interactive toys.
Have you helped your pet lose weight?