Trick Ways to Lower Pets Weight
Let’s face it – not many pet parents pay close attention to their pets weight. It’s not like we’re putting them on our bathroom scale and weighing them each morning, but according to the latest Association for Pet Obesity Prevention survey, owners of at least 55% of dogs and cats in the U.S. are overweight. That translates to 80 million obese dogs and cats at higher risk of weight-related disorders like osteoarthritis, high blood pressure and heart, respiratory and kidney disease. This means a decreased life expectancy of up to 2.5 years, and what owner doesn’t want to keep their beloved pets around longer?
There are ways to avoid this problem. Pet fitness is something that can be easily achieved through a minor adjustment in exercise and weight loss can be achieved simply by modifying the types of treats they have.
The average biscuit treat delivers 20-40 calories per serving (and what self-respecting pet parent stops at just one biscuit?). If your pets are in training, that could translate to an extra 100-200 calories per day at only 3-6 treats. There are many other easy-to-use, low-cost treat options, though.
Fruits and Vegetables
Other low-cost, low-caloric treats include vegetables and fruits. Carrot sticks and dried yam or pumpkin are great-tasting treats that your dogs will love. Dehydrated bits of chicken or beef are great treats for both cats and dogs. Fruits and vegetables can also help prolong a dog’s life with their low-calorie, high density nutrients. Avoid serving dyed, waxed, or genetically engineered foods; just as with humans, organic foods are best.
Unlike humans, dogs don’t have the enzymes to break down the cellulose walls – the outer layers of some produce are indigestible to canines. Use a food processor or blender to break these outer walls down. You can also prepare fruits and vegetables in a food processor or blender, cooking or steaming vegetables, or juicing them into a pulp that can be dried for treats.
If you don’t have the time to dry or pulp or steam your pets treats, try a reward from Lickety StikTM – the new pet treat delivery system from PetSafe®. Coming in at only 1 calorie for each 10 canine licks (or 20 kitty licks), Lickety Stik is a healthy alternative that won’t pack on the pounds. These liquid treats are delivered through a roller-ball dispenser with a screw-on cap that will keep your pockets clean and your pets satisfied. They are available in five flavors (bacon, beef, chicken, cheese, and liver) for dogs and six flavors (beef, chicken, dairy, salmon, tuna, and turkey) for cats.
According to Certified Canine Health and Fitness Practitioner Sherri Cappabianca, “Pets require more exercise than most people give them. Walking is generally not enough. They need a cardio workout, just like we do, ” comments Cappabianca. She and her team use several means of promoting healthy activity, often using treadmills designed for pets.
Cappabianca suggests pet parents jog with their dog, play fetch, or swim with them in your home pool or a safe, pet‐friendly lake or ocean location. Feline households can encourage kitty’s activity level with added playtime with wands and laser toys.
Whether you choose to lower your pets weight through exercise, nutrition, or a combination of both; be sure to implement it soon. The longer your pet is overweight, the more difficult it is to lose the extra pounds. Use this handy infographic to pet obesity to see if your dog or cat might need some additional exercise or weight training. (NOTE: As with humans, it’s very important to assess each animal on an individual basis – visit your veterinarian to determine if your pet is obese – this meant to be a guide only).