My Pudgy Baby!

OK, folks, the stats are in. Veterinarians were polled and they, as a group, felt that 47 percent of pets that they see are OVERWEIGHT. Unfortunately, only 17 percent of pet owners felt there was an issue.

So, who is right?

I’d go with the experts on that one! Obesity in pets is a growing issue -– just as obesity in humans is! And, just like in humans, obesity in pets can cause some serious health issues, including:

  • Bone issues (weight-bearing problems)
  • Cardiovascular issues
  • Diabetes
  • Skin issues
  • Heat intolerance
  • Breathing problems

So, how do you know if your pet IS overweight? Check it out!!! If you can not feel ribs just under the surface of the skin, you may have a problem. If your cat’s belly is dragging on the floor, you may have an issue. If your dog can not jump up onto the sofa, you might have a chubber. If the slightest exercise makes Fido look at you as if his eyes were gonna pop outta their sockets, YOU MIGHT HAVE AN ISSUE! Not sure? Ask your veterinarian!

There are actually breeds of dogs who are prone to being overweight — Labs, Goldens, Beagles, Bassets, Cocker Spaniels, Shelties, Terriers, to name a few. So, if you have one of these, be aware of the extra risk.

Cats do NOT need to have food available at all times! This is SO common and I don’t know where it came from, but most folks leave food out all the time for their cats. Neither cats nor dogs need food available at all times. THIS MAKES THEM FAT!

So, what do you do with Chubbs? Well, the first thing is to get him or her to the veterinarian to rule out any biological reasons for the weight problem. Barring any physical reasons other than diet, let’s look at some solutions.

DIET! By that, I don’t mean CRASH diet, but look at what you’re FEEDING them! The bag of food will give you feeding instructions. Well, they SELL food so they’re going to tell you to feed MORE than you probably need! Their instructions are for active dogs and cats, I’m sure. And, MOST dogs and cats are not active on a constant level.

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