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Posted on 04-22-2013

Pet Obesity Prevention: Learn Why Dietary Management Matters for Pets

preventing pet obesity in Berkeley.jpgIs your pet overweight or obese? Many pet owners are surprised to learn that their pets are an unhealthy weight. While a few extra pounds may not make a big difference for the average adult, even three to four extra pounds on a medium-sized dog or cat could be the difference between a healthy and unhealthy weight.

Animal Hospital Shares Top 3 Pet Obesity Prevention Tips

In the last few years, our animal hospital has seen a substantial increase in pet obesity. In fact, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), nearly half of all dogs and cats are now overweight or obese. This soaring rate of pet obesity is directly correlated with an increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and other health problems.

Dietary management is the best way to keep your pet’s weight under control. Even if your pet is currently at a healthy weight today, adopting healthy habits now will help prevent future weight gain. Follow these three tips to keep your pets a safe, healthy weight:

#1: Control portion size

Some animals like Labrador retrievers are famous for their nearly inexhaustible appetites. These pets will keep eating even when they are full. Consequently, it is easy for them to gain weight. In many cases, the amount of food your pet needs is less than the recommended serving size on a bag of dog or cat food. If you are not sure how much food your pet needs, ask our veterinarian for a customized recommendation.

#2: Limit treats

While treats are a fun way to reward your pet for good behavior, too many treats can lead to excess calories and weight gain. Limit high-caloric treats to special occasions and instead reward your pet’s good behavior with praise.

#3: Know your pet’s weight

Is your pet on the cusp for a potential weight problem? If your dog or cat needs to lose a few pounds, talk to our veterinarian for dietary recommendations during your pet's annual wellness visit to our animal hospital.

Is your pet a healthy weight?

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