As with humans, obesity in pets is an increasing problem. October—National Pet Wellness Month—is the perfect time to kick start a new routine that will keep your pet happy, healthy, and fit. Today we have a guest post from pet care/health expert Michael Landa, the CEO of Nulo, Inc., an all-natural pet food company with a full menu of nutritionally-supercharged dog and cat kibble, canned and treat products.
Top 10 Ways to Keep Your Pet Healthy and Fit
- Start them out right. Puppies that are overweight while growing have a greater risk of becoming overweight as adult dogs.
- Select Foods with high amounts of animal-based proteins. Avoid cheap and indigestible proteins. Stay clear of foods using meat byproducts.
- Avoid foods containing corn, corn gluten meal, wheat, wheat gluten meal or soy protein –These foods are very high in carbohydrates – which are quickly stored as fat. Dogs are not ‘corn-ivores!’
- Stay away from low calorie/low fat foods. ‘Diet’ foods may be great marketing, but the protein-to-fat imbalances and high carbohydrate levels often cause the reverse effect over time.
- Treats should be given very sparingly. One medium sized Milk Bone to a 40-pound dog is the equivalent of a large Snickers Bar to us!
- Do not give table scraps or people food. You may be feeding them way more calories than you realize.
- Long daily walks can help combat excess weight; they’re good for you as the parent and they can increase the bond you have with your dog.
- Regularly monitor your dog’s weight. Three extra pounds on a 15-pound Jack Russell is the equivalent of an average woman gaining 30 pounds. Ouch!
- Involve everyone in the household in good nutrition and fitness habits. Everyone must agree that managing a pet’s weight is essential for its life and long term health. Young children, in particular, must learn to respect and follow the guidelines to ensure success.
- Recognize any contributing factors or diseases. If your dog has a sudden increase in appetite or weight, have him examined by your veterinarian for possible medical cause.