Arthritis is as common in our pets as it is in us. As our pets age, they encounter more health complications (like dog joint pain) and issues, arthritis being one of the most prevalent. Despite how common the issue has become, there is one easy way to help prevent its onset that people often neglect.
According to a 2013 survey conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, more than half of the pets in America are overweight or obese. Pet owners are simply not taking the necessary steps to ensure their pets remain in a healthy weight range. Luckily, keeping pets in a normal weight range isn’t difficult, and making it a priority will be the key factor in maintaining their health.
Overweight pets are especially prone to heart disease and pet arthritis. Dogs and cats are designed to only carry so much weight, extra pounds puts unnecessary strain on the joints, causing premature wear and tear. Joint degradation can quickly lead to the development of arthritis, which in turn limits your pet’s mobility, compounding issues further and making it even more difficult to lose weight.
Ideally, the best solution is to avoid ever letting your pet reach an unhealthy weight, with the two primary factors making this difficult being: increased food intake and a reduction in exercise. A lot of the former without much of the latter can quickly lead to obesity.
Feed your pet smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day, rather than one or two large bowls. Choose a food designed for overweight animals, or make your own, which is easier than you think. Lastly, ensure your pet is getting enough exercise. A five minute walk two or three times a day isn’t enough. Try combining your pet’s exercise time with your own routines. A long walk or jog every day will not only keep your pet in good shape, but you as well!
Is your pet overweight? If not, what do you do to maintain your pet’s healthy weight?