Felix and Fido Go on a Diet
Honey, Felix and Fido are looking a bit, well, fluffy. Our dogs and cats are fat and we don’t even know it. In the United States, 54% of dogs and cats are overweight or obese. Yet the majority of owners don’t recognize their pets as being so. Excess weight can lead to osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, breathing problems, kidney problems, and a shortended life expectancy. Just like their owners, much of a pet’s overabundance of calories comes from treats. Ninety-three percent of pet owners give treats. The next time you fork one over consider these facts.
- A typical dog biscuit fed to a 20-pound dog is the equivalent of an average adult human eating two Keebler EL Fudge Double Stuffed Sandwich Cookie.
- A premium pig ear fed to a 40-pound dog is the equivalent of an adult human drinking six 12-ounce Coke Classics™.
- A 10-pound Chihuahua is comparable to a 5’4” human female weighing 242 pounds or a 5’9” male that weighs 282 pounds.
- A 15-pound domestic short-haired cat is comparable to a 5’4” human female weighing 218 pounds or a 5’9” male that weighs 254 pounds.
A better alternative to typical treats would be fresh vegetables such as baby carrots, string beans, or other crunchy vegetables.
Exercise is crucial for owners, as well as their four legged companions, when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight. At our house we love to throw our Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Finn, a lacrosse ball. It’s the only type of ball that has proven indestructible. We throw it with a miniature lacrosse stick to avoid being slimmed! The stick also allows our young children to throw the ball pretty far. For more cool pet fitness and weight loss products, check out this link.
You should seek the advice of your veterinarian to determine is your pet is overweight or obese. A simple pet weight check you can do at home, a pet with a normal weight will have ribs that are easily felt, a tucked abdomen – no sagging stomach, and a waist when viewed from above. Your pet may be overweight if it is difficult to feel their ribs and they have a broad, flat back, rather than a defined waist. For more information visit Pet Obesity and Prevention.
Resources and Statistics for this article provided by Pet Obesity and Prevention
If your cat or dog is overweight, check out this video to learn how to help http://www.wbaltv.com/video/30379404/detail.html
Video courtesy of WBAL TV