By Robbi Hess ~ Managing Editor Pet Calendar, Crimeless Cat Executive Story Editor, Chief Cat Herder
This week is likely aimed at humans, it’s a great time to talk about halthy weight for our pets, right? In my household, my miniature poodle, Henrietta, has a bad hip and a bad knee so her activity needs to be curtailed and she does a lot of resting. There are those times, though when a girl just has to run and we let her. We make certain there are no obstacles in her way and we just let her run from one end of the house to another until she has tired herself out.
I much prefer her to have regular, controlled exercise, but in the winter in New York where the temperatures have been sub zero and the snow is more than two feet deep, she gets her exercise indoors.
Our other dog, Murray loves the cold and doesn’t mind the snow so he will dash around outdoors. He also loves to play with toys and balls and gets a lot of exercise racing after his balls indoors and playing fetch.
Pet Calendar: Healthy Weight Week
In addition to our dogs we have four cats. They get their exercise by playing with stuffed catnip mice, chasing laser lights, running after stuffed toys and chasing feathers.
When our pets start to look overweight or when our veterinarian tells us they are getting overweight, we make certain we slowly cut back on their food and make certain we get them more exercise.
Pet obesity leads to pet diabetes and other health issues such as joint and hip issues (especially with larger breed dogs.)
We want our pets to live long, healthy lives and make a point of assuring they don’t get table scraps, that they get exercise and that we limit their treats to to low-calorie ones such as carrots or apple slices.
Ways to help your pet lose weight and stay healthy:
- Measure how much you feed them. Eyeballing their portions isn’t accurate enough.
- Check the calorie count on the foods you feed them. Don’t forget to look at how much you should be feeding based on your pet’s age and weight.
- Feed treats that are healthy and low-cal.
- Get up and get moving. This is a tip that is ideal for pets as well as pet parents!
- Track your dog’s weight. It makes sense to know what your dog weighs throughout the year, not just when you take him to his annual check-up. This will also alert you to whether he’s gaining, or losing, weight.
Check out our other January Pet-centric Holidays.