New Year’s Resolutions for Pets

Many of us will greet the New Year by making a resolution to get healthier. We all know that eating better and losing weight can have a tremendous positive impact on our health. People look and feel better when they exercise and eat a more nutritious diet, and so do their pets.

While chubby cats and dogs may look cute, extra weight adds extra stress to a pet’s body and increases the chances of developing problems such as diabetes, arthritis and certain cancers. There is nothing “cute” about a shortened life span for your beloved pet. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention estimates that 53% of dogs and 55% of cats are classified as overweight or obese by their veterinarians.

Some breeds of dogs tend to be more prone to obesity, and owners should pay extra attention to weight management in these breeds, which include Labradors, pugs and dachshunds.

If your family is resolving to eat better and be more active, include your pet when making changes. Playing with your dog outside will help you both burn calories and will increase the bond between you and your pet. Take your dog with you on those longer walks, and don’t reward your pet with a treat every time he behaves or completes a trick. A simple show of affection can be just as effective, not to mention healthier, than a high calorie treat.

It can be trickier to exercise an overweight cat, but it is important to engage your cat in some type of activity every day. Toys, cat “jungle gyms” and scratching posts can be helpful in getting your cat moving.

If you are concerned about your pet’s weight, be sure to discuss it with us at your pet’s next appointment. We can recommend specific food and a feeding schedule that will help your pet become healthier and live longer.

We wish you and your pet a healthy and happy New Year!

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