Even with your pet, image is everything. No one wants to admit that the family pet is overweight because he overeats or doesn’t exercise. Here are a few examples of why your pet might be overweight – despite your protests to the contrary:
1. Exercising in a box. Have you ever heard someone say that their dog gets lots of exercise he’s in a fenced in the back yard? Dogs are not so different from us in regard to exercise. We like interesting exercise: a walk around the neighborhood trumps the yard every time. One of our nurse’s dogs is a great case in point. Her spaniel dashes outside to do her business and quickly races back to the door to be let back inside. Her favorite place on the sofa is still warm!
In the wild, a dog would be motivated to either catch prey or avoid becoming prey by running very fast. In a confined area, a dog will stop when he’s tired and fail to get an elevated heart rate for any length of time.
2. “She doesn’t eat that much!” I hear a lot of statements in a given week that are just this side of the whole truth. Simply put, more calories in and less calories burned make a chubby pet. A straightforward solution is to measure the pet’s food before it goes into the bowl.
If the regular kibble is at a reasonable level, the problem may lie in the treats. It’s very easy to fall into a pattern of rewarding good behavior with Beggin’ Strips, Busy Bones and sausage links, but they add up to too many calories!
3. Cats are carnivores. Outdoor/indoor cats may bring you offerings of a dead bird or a dead mouse close to your favorite slippers. It’s their not-so-subtle way of letting you know you should be very proud, and by the way, we really like meat.
Dry food is almost all carbohydrates, and indoor cats don’t need that since they’re not burning lots of calories hunting for food. A high protein, low carb diet is best for your kitty. Raw is a very healthy and tasty cat food, sold in the freezer section at Town N Country. For more details, click here.
So – is it time for a New Year’s resolution for your pet? Working in a little more exercise for your pet often benefits the rest of the family. If you have questions about your pet’s weight, diet or exercise levels, don’t hesitate to call us!
Image courtesy of Flickr and Lambchop.