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Is Your Pet a Little on the Heavy Side? Time to Dial Back the Diet!

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dog obesity
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Bolt, guest blogger and Yorkie-Poo extraordinaire:

There’s no denying it. The truth hurts, but I have to face it. I have put on a few pounds in the last year and would like to do something about it. After all, I am only four years old. I have a full life ahead yet. It’s time to step away from the doggie dish and go for a walk.

Did you know that excess weight on a pet can strain his heart and lungs, lead to diabetes and create a host of orthopedic problems…even knee injuries? Just like on humans, excess weight is not a good thing, and it usually accumulates due to too much food and not enough exercise.

It’s time to break out the leash and dial back the diet! Here are a few tips from the October 2012 issue of Prevention magazine:

  • Take stock of your pet’s daily food intake, including all those treats given here and there, and then reduce that amount by 25%.
  • Choose foods high in protein and fiber and low in fat. The experts recommend 25%-30% protein in a dog’s diet and at least 30% for cats.
  • Stop “free feeding” your pet. If you leave food out for him and continually refill the bowl when it looks low, it is difficult to monitor exactly how much is being consumed.
  • We know it’s easy to reward good behavior with treats (and I won’t argue with the concept!), but limit it to one or two treats a day and consider healthier options, such as dehydrated produce like chicken or sweet potato or fresh produce such as carrots, green beans and apple slices. (I personally love the green beans!)

Above all, remember to indulge in daily activity and playtime. It is good for your pet and good for you!

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