Now that the holidays and heavy feasting is behind us, we can get off to a fresh start in 2017. Overweight dogs and cats are becoming more common in our corner of the world. The cuteness we adore so much usually gets rewarded with more treats and food. Combined with less exercise, especially in the colder winter months, our pets may end up looking like a bear ready for hibernation. Weight gain not only affects joints and promotes arthritis but can led to more serious illnesses and decrease life expectancy.
Generally speaking, pets should be fed based on what they should weight not necessarily what they currently weigh. This is an easy tip to limit overfeeding. Most pets are their ideal body weight at around one year of age. Therefore, that weight can help guide weight loss goals. Replacing processed treats with low calorie fresh fruits and veggies (NEVER garlic, onions, grapes, or raisins) can help too. Typically, dogs enjoy carrots, peas, melons, and apples. Be mindful of large seed foods, like a whole peach that could be a choking hazard. Check back next week for additional weight management info. Thanks.
Dr. Michael Hicks
Hicks Animal Clinic