HEALTH AND WELLNESS
It's never too late to paws and breathe.
THERE'S this notion that if you are fat, chances are your pets are fat, too. Pet owners' own lifestyles and the choices they make for their pets play a huge role in determining their furry companions' overall health.
A recent piece in The New York Times point to veterinarians' growing concern over pet obesity in the United States. The report cited how animal doctors are alarmed to find nearly half the dogs they see as overweight or obese. It's a problem made worse by how only few owners admit that their pets are overweight because of what they do or not do.
The alarming increase in pet obesity cases is happening not only in America but in other advanced economies, too, like Hong Kong. Cooped up in small apartments while their owners work long hours, thousands of pets in Hong Kong are reportedly on the heavy side because they have nothing to do while alone in the house but sleep and eat.
Pet obesity brings with it a raft of other ailments, effectively shortening a pet's life expectancy. Common obesity-related sickness in cats and dogs include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis and other conditions that similarly occurred among overweight people.
Veterinarians recommend the following to help dogs and cats lose weight:
* Take pets' weight regularly to get an understanding of how much food they need to take daily.
* Cut back on treats and replace them instead with activities that stimulate their mind and body.
* Measure the dog or cat food and follow the minimum suggested amount on the pet food label.
* Discourage food begging especially if you know your pet has already sufficiently eaten its meal.
* Try to exercise your pet 15 to 30 minutes a day.
* Ask veterinarians about prescription diets designed for pet weight loss.
* Ask your veterinarian about other possible medical reasons for your pet's weight problem.
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