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Tips for Your Overweight Pet

Published on November 30th, 2017

The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention’s study in 2016 revealed that 53.9% of dogs and 58.9% of cats were clinically overweight. We love our pets and want the best for them, but many owners ignore weight problems or think their overweight pet looks “cute.” But overweight pets have a much higher risk for many health issues that can shorten and worsen their life.

The study revealed that over 15% of dog and cat owners said their pet was healthy when it was overweight. To fix the problem you must acknowledge it. This guide is designed to help you ensure a long and healthy life for your pet.

Visit a Vet in Chicago

If you are not sure if your pet is overweight, take it to a vet in Chicago. Similar to body mass index, a body condition score (BCS) can be taken by your vet to determine whether your pet is healthy, overweight, or obese. The vet may also analyze whether your pet’s weight problem is a symptom of another health issue. Talk with the vet about what a healthy weight would look like for your pet and how to get there.

Make a Plan

Your plan should consist of diet and exercise modification. Just like in humans, the recipe for weight loss is more calories expended than taken in. Create a weekly plan for your pet’s exercise. Don’t overload the schedule so it’s impossible, but make sure it will be enough. Take advantage of high energy activities like swimming or running for dogs and chasing a laser for cats. Set aside time to dedicate to your pet’s weight loss.

Count Food

Some animals can manage their own food while you just keep refilling the bowl. With an overweight animal, you can’t allow them to eat as much food as they like. You must be meticulous about keeping track of how much your pet consumes. Once you’ve set a calorie limit, stick to it. That means you must include treats in the overall calorie count.

Take Your Time

Trying to have your pet lose all the excess weight in a week will lead to nothing but frustration. Realize that getting your pet to a healthy weight will require a lifestyle change which will take some time.

Call Portage Park Animal Hospital

For the very best vet in Chicago, call Portage Park Animal Hospital. We know your pets are like family so we treat them like family. New patients receive a complimentary exam. Call today at (773) 725-0260.

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