Posted on 2010-01-09 12:16:57
Contemplating resolutions for improving oneself is a ritual many consider as the New Year approaches, and weight loss or increased fitness is often a top goal. According to a 2008 Association for Pet Obesity Prevention survey, over 44 percent of dogs are now estimated to be overweight or obese, so pursuing the same goal with a pet in mind can be equally beneficial.
Darlene Frudakis, president and COO for PetAg, Inc., a pet health and wellness product manufacturer and maker of DogSlim's174; weight management products, reminds pet owners to consider passing on a healthy resolve to furry friends in the New Year. Today, Frudakis offers four easy-to-remember tips that can help establish healthy ways to achieve and maintain a dog's optimum weight.
Obesity is a major health concern for those caring for pets, and making a New Year'ss resolution you can share with your pet can help address the weighty issues that often affect a pet'ss longevity and health, said Frudakis.
Be knowledgeable about your pet's needs
Have a check-up with a trusted veterinarian to determine a pet's optimum weight and a proper weight-loss program if it is required. Obesity contributes to diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disorders, osteoarthritis and more. Rapid, unexplained weight gain may be a warning sign indicating a number of health issues.
A dog's metabolism can reduce by up to 30 percent as they age, so knowing a pet's life stage is also important when considering a pet's optimum diet and weight, added Frudakis.
Snacking can be the downfall of a weight loss program. According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, 88 percent of dog owners give treats to their pets. Many treats are filled with fat and empty calories. In pets, like humans, extra calories attribute to excess weight and obesity that affects overall health. The calories in treats add up quickly, with many ranging between 50-100 calories each. Look for low calorie options with added supplementation for a nutritious treat, or substitute veterinarian approved high-fiber garden favorites that are naturally packed with nutrients. Remember, a pat on the head is a calorie-free way to show love and affection.
Stop sharing your table scraps
Dogs have different nutritional and digestion needs, so while they may enjoy lapping up your leftovers, those same treats contribute extra calories to their diets and can attribute to their expanding waistlines. Studies have shown that a pet living on a lean diet can live up to two years longer than a pet that is constantly overfed.
Exercise!Increase a dog's exercise but be mindful of age and physical restrictions. Gradually adding time to a dog's walk and adding additional active play can help meet weight goals for both a pet and a pet owner.
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