As pet owners, we want to spend as much time with our cats and dogs as we possibly can but overfeeding can lead to weight gain which can have a major effect on your pet’s health including decreasing their life expectancy, arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, and even cancer.
In the UK alone, it’s estimated that 40% of dogs and 53% of cats are overweight or obese. This is only set to get worse as pet obesity is on the rise.
Overweight animals tend to be less energetic and willing to play. Whether it’s due to a lack of exercise or incorrect portion sizes, there are lots of factors that can lead to pet obesity.
Are you treating your pet too much?
It’s easy to fall for their meows or puppy dog eyes but just a little treat here and there will all add up to an overweight pet, not a happy pet.
We are not talking about cutting treats out completely, it’s more about knowing your pet and understanding their feeding habits – after all you know your pets better than anyone.
Spoiling your pets with treats for just being themselves is a great way to show love. But, if they get a treat every time you want to show affection, those pounds could easily start to add up.
Obviously, we don’t want to put you off giving your pets treats, it’s about giving something else as a reward or using part of their daily portion as their treats instead.
How to reward your pet
Instead of giving a treat as a reward every time, how about giving them your undivided attention. Treats don’t have to be edible, your best friend will appreciate them all the same. Use your imagination, get creative, it could be as simple as playing with their favourite toy for five minutes, a belly rub or chin scratch.
Exercise may not always be possible but this is something most pets truly love. It may be the last thing on your mind when you wake up on a bitter winter morning and maybe the last thing on your mind when you have just finished work, but it’s as true to our pets as it is to us that the best way to keep that extra weight off is to exercise.
If going out is not an option there are lots of toys and games you could choose from to use within your home. For example, a hunting game is a great way for your pet to use their natural instincts to seek out their favourite toy or treat, providing excellent mental and physical stimulation.
When it comes to feeding, look at the type of feed you are providing and make sure it is suitable for the age and breed of your pet. Most importantly follow the feeding guidelines on the packaging.
If you need any further advice don’t hesitate to come into the store and ask one of the team. We have a large selection of toys, feeds and healthy treats to help keep those pounds off.