New years resolutions are not only for you, most pets could use a few themselves. One of the biggest New Years resolutions people make is to lose weight, and like people, if our pets made that same resolution they will need a little help. The APOP (Association for Pet Obesity Prevention) estimates the 54% of dogs and cats are overweight. Arthritis, Cardiovascular disease, and reduced immune system functions are all serious and very life altering conditions that come from being overweight. Here are a few things you can do to help your pets start fulfilling that New Years goal to lose weight.
- Decrease portion size. Increase the number of times you feed your pet in the day to 3 or 4 and decrease the size of each portion can help dramatically decrease a pets weight.
- Feed them more whole foods. The consumption of highly processed dry pet food can lead to weight gain, switching all or some of your pets diet to more fiber and nutrient rich whole foods can be a great way to work towards being healthier.
- Get Moving! Many pets stay inside all day and have very little activity. If your pet is having trouble with weight simply getting them up and moving is important. Make a commitment to daily exercise with your pet you will both feel better.
- Set realistic goals. Goals are fantastic when changing any form of behaviour but making those goals something you can reach is just as important. Things don’t change overnight so set short term and long term goals you can reach then work for them.
Ask your veterinarian for their help in creating your health plan. Then make sure you follow up with regular wellness visits to make sure things are on track. You should have a wellness visit every 6 to 12 months just to make sure you’re getting and staying healthy.