Pet obesity has become a significant problem across Houston and the rest of the United States. Depending on the exact study, between 25% and 40% of all dogs are classified as obese. The figures for cats are similar, with some studies citing nearly half of all pet cats as meeting the criteria for obesity. Given how quickly these figures have risen over the last couple of decades, many people are asking why. There are a few answers to that question. One is pets eating too much. Second, pets aren’t getting as much exercise as they need. And third, too many pets are eating food that lacks the nutrients they truly need and are instead filled with empty calories.
As you can see, the causes of pet obesity’s rise are quite similar to why more human children and adults are obese than ever before. And just as unfortunate, obesity in pets carries the same serious health risks as it does in humans. Diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis and even an increased risk for certain types of cancer are all very real concerns for pets that are obese. While realizing the severity of this condition can be alarming, the good news is there are steps you can take to help combat pet obesity. Here are five things every pet owner can do to protect the health of their dog or cat:
1. Avoid Scraps
Even though a pet may get quite excited when it’s offered a table scrap, that doesn’t mean this type of food is good for a dog or cat’s health. Not only do these “treats” pack a significant number of calories, but the type of fats they contain can lead to complications with things like a pet’s cholesterol.
2. Get Active
Pets need exercise on a daily basis. This is just as true for cats as it is for dogs. Although you’re probably not going to walk your cat, you need to find toys that get it running around the house.
3. Be Smart with Treats
We’ve already touched on why table scraps aren’t a good idea for pets. It’s also important to know that many of the treats marketed by big brands are made from less than ideal ingredients. Not only do you want to be smart about how often your pet gets treats, but you should also stick to high-quality pet treats that offer actual nutritional value.
4. Choose the Right Food and Portions
Choosing the right dog food or cat food can make all the difference. Opting for food that’s made with nutrition in mind and then ensuring your pet gets the optimal portion each day can directly combat obesity issues.
5. Work with Your Vet
While the daily decisions you make for your pet are very important, having the ongoing involvement of a vet is critical for keeping your pet’s weight and health on the right path. Their professional knowledge and expertise can help you stay ahead of any potential health issues with your pet.
For more information on pets or to try one of our formulas, please contact Pet Wants Houston Central at: 832-786-8579.