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Did the family pet gain a few pounds during the holidays?
Did the family pet gain a few pounds during the holidays? January is the perfect month to help them get back into shape. 58% of American cats are overweight as well as 53% of dogs. Helping a pet lose a little weigh will not only have them feel better, but can add two extra years to a pets lifespan.

The key for a pet to lose weight is for the the total number of calories for all meals and treats to equal the number of calories desired for weight loss. A trusted veterinarian can help in finding an ideal weight. One recommendation to control a pets weight is to give them two to four small meals a day, instead of free feeding. Free feeding allows a pet to eat however much they want, whenever they want. Using a measuring cup keeps the food given to a pet at a consistent amount. If a pet parents schedule makes it difficult, pet stores sell timed automatic feeders. 

Pet stores also have an abundance of pet foods that are made to help with a pets weight management. Pet parents will want to choose a food that has above average protein, below average fat and below average calories. Also, a higher protein will keep a pet fuller longer, so this will also decrease the amount of time they beg for treats. Single ingredient treats that have sweet potato, salmon or blueberry are acceptable, or also treats that have an added benefit such as keeping teeth clean or better mobility. Just remember to count the calories! If a pet parent wants to do even better, they can skip the store bought treats altogether and give their pets apples, baby carrots, green beans, celery or cucumbers. Cats can get a flake of salmon or tuna.

It is not uncommon to give a pet who needs to lose a few pounds a supplement. Dogs, cats and humans can all benefit from a daily omega 3 fatty acid supplement. Omega three offers many health conscious advantages, such as preventing and treating numerous diseases, easing achy joints and encouraging weight loss.

For anyone that has a dog, they already have a work out buddy. 20-30 minutes of brisk walking is all it takes to boost immune function and improve cardiovascular health in a dog. And 5-15 minutes of playing with a laser pointer with a cat never gets old, a remote controlled toy would work, too. Together, a pet parent and their pet can be on their way to a healthier lifestyle.