Obesity has garnered a great deal of focus in America. Nearly two-thirds of us are overweight. Both lifestyle choices, and diet, are the chief determining factors.
This circumstance has, unfortunately, trickled down to our pets.
According to a 2007 study done by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, half of our cats and dogs were classified as obese by their veterinarians.
This creates stress on the heart and circulatory system, the joints, and creates a propensity to developing diabetes.
Any pet owner with serious obesity concerns should bring their pet to their Veterinarian for consultation.
Prevention is always the best “cure”. Daily exercise is of utmost importance. Daily walks should be lengthy – not “walks around the block”.
The most important factor in controlling obesity is Diet. What our animals take into their bodies with food and treats is critical not only to their health, but also to their proper weight maintenance.
The overfeeding of our pets, and the too liberal use of treats is frequently blamed for our pet’s obesity. There is no doubt that quantity of calorie intake is very important, and we must take care if we reduce the quantity of the daily diet to insure adequate nutrient levels.
We also have to realize that our pets, although they live in the same house with us, are biologically different mammals than we are.
Dog are carnivores, with omnivorous capability.
Cats are obligate carnivores. For them meat is an essential component in their diet.
Dry dog and cat foods are promoted extensively. They are also the least expensive price per pound of food. However, they are of low meat content, and high carbohydrate content, and exacerbate a pet’s weight problems.
Feed a high meat diet to control weight
Yes! Feed a high meat diet. (See the chart in our article “Let Food Be Thy Medicine”). A high meat food, like canned, frozen, or freeze-dried food provides the best balance of canine and feline requirements for protein utilization.
Also, canned, frozen, and reconstituted freeze-dried foods add moisture to the diet, essential for all of our pets, and particularly important for cats – who are poor water drinkers.
On the other hand, dry foods are high carbohydrate, low meat content relative to the above diets – and are contributors to weight gain.
With regard to treats, the healthiest also are meat treats, with the healthiest being freeze-dried – especially those using free-range hormone and antibiotic-free. To avoid weight gain, control the amount you use daily.
A main reason for cat and dog obesity (as well as obesity in other mammals, including ourselves) is the consumption of too much food.
Also, many pets are fed “free choice” which means there is food constantly available. This contributes substantially to obesity. It is much better to feed two or three times daily, with smaller feedings that control the daily quantity of feeding.
When reducing the total quantity of food fed daily, it may be wise to supplement the diet with a good whole food supplement and/or a vitamin & mineral supplement.
Come in or call PetHealthStore for best recommendations that will maximize nutrient intake, while controlling caloric intake, and maintaining proper weight. Our recommendations will always be focused on maximizing your pet’s health.
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