Managing the Chunk: The Problem with Pet Obesity

June 10, 2024
By: Adriana Valle

Our furry companions bring us endless joy, but sometimes, our love for them can manifest in ways that are unintentionally harmful. In 2024, pet obesity remains a significant concern, impacting both dogs and cats. In this blog post – Managing the Chunk: The Problem with Pet Obesity, – we will delve into the growing issue of pet obesity and explore practical strategies to keep your pet at their ideal weight. While it may be cute to see their sweet little bellies and chunky butts, pet obesity is no joke!

The Problem with Pet Obesity: Why Pet Obesity is on the Rise

dog walker old saybrook

Several factors have contributed to the rise of pet obesity. Our increasingly busy lifestyles often translate into less playtime and exercise for our pets. Additionally, the abundance of readily available, processed pet foods can lead to overconsumption. And, genetics can also play a role, with certain breeds predisposed to weight gain.

The consequences of pet obesity are far-reaching. Excess weight can exacerbate joint problems, hinder mobility, and increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory issues. It’s crucial to address pet obesity not just for their physical well-being but also for their overall quality of life.

The Problem with Pet Obesity: Strategies for a healthier pet

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to prevent or manage pet obesity. Following are some key strategies to consider:

dog walking old saybrook
  • Diet: Consult your veterinarian to determine the appropriate portion sizes and food type for your pet’s breed, age, and activity level. Consider boosting the bowl with low-cal veggies like canned green beans where and when appropriate.
  • Exercise is Key: Just like us, pets need regular exercise to stay healthy. Schedule daily walks, playtime, or engage in activities like fetch or agility training. Consider enrolling your dog in our dog hiking adventures for a really good workout!
  • Be Mindful of Treats: Treats are a great way to train and bond with your pet, but moderation is key. Opt for healthier alternatives like freeze-dried organ meats in small pieces like these Holi treats.
  • Become a Label Decoder: Learn to read pet food labels. Look for the main ingredients to include whole meats instead of “meal” and avoid pet foods high in fillers, artificial flavors, and unhealthy fats.
  • Listen to Your Pet: Pets communicate their needs through behavior. Watch for signs of hunger cues like begging or excessive food seeking, but also be mindful of lethargy or disinterest in exercise. Always discuss changes in diet and appetite with your vet.
  • Avoid table scraps: Recently, Dogster shared an eye-opening article in which they listed the top human foods that are contributing to pet obesity. These foods included bacon, sausage, eggs, rice, and cheese, among others. Limit table scraps to ensure you’re not the reason why your pet gets winded walking up the stairs!
cat sitting old saybrook

The Problem with Pet Obesity: Strategies for a healthier Cat

Cats are requisite carnivores and, in the wild, would be eating small prey animals with lots of moisture. When we feed cats only dry food, we keep them in a constant state of dehydration. Instead, opt for canned cat food. It is said that even the lowest quality canned cat food may be better for your cat than a higher end kibble in the long run. Learn more here.

The Problem with Pet Obesity: Incorporating TEch for a fitter friend

In last week’s blog, we shared how echnology can be a valuable tool in your pet’s weight management journey. Activity trackers designed for pets can monitor their daily steps and movement, helping you adjust their exercise routine accordingly. Food dispensing apps can also help you portion out meals and track your pet’s calorie intake.

The Problem with Pet Obesity: Shoreline Happy Paws is here to help

dog walking old saybrook

If you’re concerned about your pet’s weight, don’t hesitate to seek professional guidance. Consult your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to create a personalized weight loss plan for your pet. They can provide advice on diet, exercise, and address any underlying medical conditions that might be contributing to weight gain. And, count on us at Shoreline Happy Paws to help your pet burn excess calories. Whether it be with a midday dog walk, a dog hiking adventure, or a vigorous wand game, it’s our mission to get pets moving!

dog walking dog walker ct shoreline

By incorporating these strategies and embracing a proactive approach, you can help your pet achieve and maintain a healthy weight. After all, a happy and healthy pet is a pet that can enjoy an active and fulfilling life by your side. And, controlling your pet’s weight may extend their life, what would be better than that?!

New Shoreline Happy Paws clients can create an account. We will be in touch to further discuss your needs and set you, your family, and your pet(s) up for success. Existing clients may book dog walking, dog hiking, or pet sitting services by logging in to your client profile.

Shoreline Happy Paws serves the following areas of the Connecticut Shoreline:

  • Old Saybrook
  • Essex, Ivoryton & Centerbrook
  • Deep River
  • Chester
  • Westbrook
  • Clinton
  • Old Lyme
  • East Lyme
  • Niantic

Certain Parts and Certain Service Hours in:

  • Lyme and Madison
  • Waterford, New London, Groton
  • Uncasville, Gales Ferry, Mystic, Noank

By Adriana Valle

Adriana is the owner and Chief Pet-Loving Officer at Shoreline Happy Paws. She has been a Professional Pet Sitter for over 10 years.

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