It’s a sad fact that roughly 50% of America’s pets are overweight – which is probably why someone dubbed October 12 Pet Obesity Awareness Day, intended to call attention to a very real, and clearly underestimated, problem. As a company that strives to provide dogs with the best in nutrition, we know how much weight contributes to their longevity and overall wellness – which is why we want to take a minute to recap signs of pet obesity and what you can do to prevent (or correct) it.
A pet is considered obese if they weigh 20% (or more) above their ideal body weight. If you’re not sure what your pet should weigh your vet can gladly let you know, but as a rule of thumb you should be able to see their ribs through a healthy layer of fat, their abdomen should be noticeably tucked, and their waist visible from above. If your dog doesn’t quite fit this description, you’re absolutely not alone but it’s also not to be ignored. Below are a few suggestions on how to help Buddy lose weight and keep it off.
- Just like in humans, opt for food that’s high in protein and fiber but low in fat; we always suggest feeding less than what the bag recommends depending on how much you treat your pet. Remember: a treat is anything that isn’t their regular diet so be real in your guesstimating.
- There are plenty of ways to exercise your dog these days, be it through day care, dog walkers, or even play dates. We don’t care if you walk, run, hike, or swim with your pet, all that matters is that you get their heart rate up and tongue hangin’ out for at least 15-30 minutes (per day, ideally.)
- Be Aware. It’s your responsibility to care for your pet, which is why reading labels and making good dietary choices on their behalf is among the best things you can do as a pet parent. At Stewart, our general rule of thumb is if you can’t pronounce the ingredient, it has no business in your pet’s belly.
If you have a go-to exercise routine or at-home tip, share with us on Facebook!