According to the Pet Obesity Prevention Organization, 56 percent of dogs and 60 percent of cats in the United States are overweight or obese. That is an alarmingly high number of pets at-risk of weight-related health issues. More than 100 million dogs and cats in the US are considered obese. Pet obesity is at an all-time high, and unfortunately, routine veterinary visits are at a low. Pet obesity not only creates future health problems, but it also means higher veterinary bills as a consequence. However, there are steps you can take to keep your pet healthy and happy for many years to come.
An overweight pet can lead to the following health-related issues:
- Arthritis/Joint disorders
- Kidney disease
- liver disease
- Heart failure
- Decreased immune functions
- Decreased energy levels
- High blood pressure
- Increased risk of stroke
- Chronic inflammation
Despite the increase in the number of these diseases and issues, many pets go undiagnosed for long periods due to infrequent visits to their veterinarian. By the time an owner realizes there may be a health issue, the problem is often already too far advanced for an effective treatment.
Statistics show the gradual decline in veterinary visits by pet owners over the last several years. The current economic situation has obviously put a damper on most people’s spending budgets, yet it is imperative to understand where costs can, and cannot be cut. Your pet’s healthcare is one such area that requires attention, despite current financial situations.
Recognizing your pet is overweight is half the challenge. Dogs and cats come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so coming up with an ideal weight in pounds is not always practical. Veterinarians are trained to spot and prevent health problems before they become severe. Furthermore, as pet owners, we are responsible for helping our pets maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise. An annual checkup from your veterinarian is strongly encouraged. Especially as our pets age.
Keep Your Pet Active
You may think your pet will appreciate you more for extra treats, but they will appreciate a longer, healthier life far more than temporary gratification. Taking regular walks for weight loss is very different than walking for pleasure. Make your objective to walk briskly and focused on exercise for the first half of your walk. And then, you can stop to smell the trees on the “way home” portion of your walk. The recommendation is to start activities with a brisker effort first. Too often if we try to start slowly with the walk, allowing them to sniff and smell everything, we may have a challenge getting them up to speed when we’re ready to exercise.
Here are some other tips to keep your pet moving and workouts interesting:
- Move food bowls upstairs or downstairs and rotate it so your dog has to walk to get to its food. Pets are smart with good noses. If the food bowl moves, they’ll find it. Move the food bowl as far away from your dog’s favorite locations as possible to encourage movement.
- Use toys, balls, and squeaky plush toys, or anything safe your dog finds interesting to chase and initiate physical activity. Try to engage your dog in aerobic activity for at least ten to fifteen minutes twice a day. Experiment with different toys and understand what is exciting today may be boring tomorrow.
A Healthy Diet to Prevent Pet Obesity
You should never put your dog on a diet without the assistance of your veterinarian. This is because there may be medical conditions causing your pet’s excess weight. Some common diseases associated with weight gain include hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease. There are scientifically formulated nutritional products to help with healthy and safe weight reduction in dogs and cats. It is not a good idea to simply reduce the volume of their current food. This will cause malnourishment over time rather than help prevent pet obesity. Avoid giving table scraps and read treat packaging carefully.
Health issues such as joint disease do not happen overnight. Just as pet obesity occurs over time. Pets also hide when they are in pain instinctively. Starting your pet on a preventative supplement like Flexpet before it is too late can help avoid costly vet visits in the future.
At Flexpet, we care about you and your pets. We want to help you keep them as healthy as possible. We have a fantastic and knowledgeable customer care team available to answer any of your questions about our joint supplement products and how they may help your dog or cat. If your dog has joint pain issues, we invite you to try Flexpet today and start your dog on the journey to playing like a pup again. Flexpet is so confident it is the best joint supplement for dogs and cats it comes with a 90-day satisfaction guarantee. Our Flexpet joint care supplements have excellent reviews on social media. You can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, email, or by phone at 1-800-505-0575.