Unfortunately, obesity is quite common among domestic animals. If your dog or cat is clearly overweight, you need to address the issue immediately.
If food is readily available, some pets won’t stop eating no matter how full they are. Because of this, they can quickly and easily become obese, which can be very dangerous for their overall health.
One of the biggest causes of obesity in pets, aside from simply overeating, is eating less than stellar food. A low-quality diet will likely contain copious amounts of unhealthy fillers, such as corn and rice, with little to no protein or vegetables.
A diet full of starches with low protein and fiber means your pet will be constantly hungry, and also seriously lacking vital nutrients.
Another factor leading to obesity is inactivity. Pets with sedentary lifestyles that spend the entire day lazing around can easily pile on the pounds.
According to The Sleep Foundation, dogs and cats need about 12-16 hours of sleep per day. While this may seem like a lot of sleep compared to humans, that still leaves plenty of time for your pet to exercise and play.
If the only exercise your pet receives is walking to the food bowl, obesity is inevitable, and changes need to be made. As a pet owner, those positive changes are entirely up to you.
The most important factor to combat pet obesity is ensuring their diet is high quality and nutritionally balanced. Also, never feed more than the recommended serving size listed on the back of the food container, especially when trying to drop pounds.
When your overweight pet has their food reduced and limited, you may find them lounging around the bowl all day waiting for mealtime. If this happens, try spreading the daily amount into smaller meals throughout the day to trick them into thinking they’re eating more.
If you typically feed twice a day, try four smaller meals instead. If your pet thinks they are receiving more food, they will likely be more satisfied and not beg throughout the day.
Another recommendation is mixing their food with water. This will add volume to their meal, filling their tummies quicker. It also will add much-needed hydration to their diet, which can be struggle for some cat owners.
If your pet needs to lose weight, simply cutting calories won’t do it. It is also extremely important to encourage exercise, which can be done by planning activities with them. Help your cat hunt, take them outside to run around, walk them, plan playdates for them, the playtime options are endless.
As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends at Premier Pet Supply for all your pet-related questions!