It is estimated that nearly half of the dogs and many of the cats in the United States are overweight, with a good percentage of these pets classified as obese. Overweight dogs and cats are at greater risk for a wide variety of health conditions, including arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, back problems, and skin problems.
How can I tell if my pet is overweight?
An easy way to estimate the proper weight for your dog is to feel the ribs and points on top of the backbone. These should be easily felt, with just a small amount of underlying fat.
How can I reduce my pet’s weight?
The most effective and healthy way to reduce your pet’s weight is to cut down the calories and increase the exercise. Your veterinarian may recommend starting a weight loss program by switching to a commercial reducing diet that is high in nutrition but low in calories.
Any other helpful (and healthful) hints for helping my pet lose weight?
Breaking up the daily amount of food into several small feedings can help distract your pet from the fact that it is eating fewer calories. Avoid feeding any snacks (including dog biscuits or pet treats) between meals, and never feed table scraps, which are nearly always high in calories and low in nutrients.