Experts provide tips to prevent your pet from becoming obese

Stacey Spivey

POSTED: Monday, January 27, 2014 - 7:13pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 - 6:43am

Many of us want to treat our pets like family, but according to veterinarians we shouldn't be feeding our pets like family. 

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, those extra treats and bits of food you're giving your pets can be bad because 55 percent of cats and dogs in the United States are overweight. 

"We think of them as being strong, hearty little creatures, but they really do require more sensitivity to their diets," said Deborah Dobbs, President of the SPCA of East Texas.

Animal Medical Center's Dr. Laura Cauthen says around half of the pets she sees are overweight. 

"You've got to restrict the table food," says Dr. Cauthen. "You've got to restrict the treats because at the end of the day its' calories in versus calories out."

Both experts tell KETK obesity can really lead to some pretty significant health problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis and fatty liver disease.  

To help your pet live a healthier lifestyle, follow these simple steps:

  • High protein and low carb diet
  • Lower calorie pet food
  • Wet, canned food
  • Be watchful of the feeding guidelines on the back of the dog food (Dr. Cauthen says sometimes they recommend too much for pets)
  • Exercise is crucial
  • Check weight about once a month
  • Avoid giving any table scraps

For more information on how to prevent pet obesity, click here.

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