October 7th is Pet Obesity Awareness Day Obesity is an extremely common problem in pets and, as with humans, it can be harmful to the health of a cat or dog. The overweight pet has many added stresses upon his body and is at an increased risk of diabetes, liver problems and joint pain. Research conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) found that approximately 58 percent of cats and 54 percent of dogs were overweight or obese in 2015. Obesity develops when energy intake exceeds energy requirements and the excess energy is then stored as fat. The majority of cases of obesity are related to simple overfeeding coupled with lack of exercise. Certain groups of dogs appear to be more prone to obesity than others. Specific breeds, such as Labrador retrievers and pugs, and older dogs are particularly susceptible. 

How to Help Manage Pets’ Weight 

Below are a few tips that can help your customers’ pet shed the extra padding: 

• Correct your pet’s diet. If your pet is overweight, it means they have consumed more calories than their body requires. Work with your knowledgeable independent retailer to select a more suitable food and determine your pet’s caloric requirements. 

• Increase regular exercise. Increasing physical activity can be valuable to both weight loss and weight maintenance. Regular exercise burns more calories, reduces appetite, changes body composition and will increase your pet’s resting metabolic rate. With colder months around the corner, it is important to consider a consistent exercise plan for both cats and dogs. 

• Modify your behavior. A successful weight management program means making changes in your behaviors that have contributed to your pet’s weight. For example, you may be giving your pet too many treats or not giving her enough opportunities to exercise. Be sure to indulge your four-legged friend with affection, not food! By offering customers a wide variety of weight management diets, staying educated on the importance of pet nutrition, carrying a selection of harnesses and leashes for outdoor activities with dogs or indoor interactive toys for cats, your customers will be able to easily maintain a healthy lifestyle for their furry friends. 

Contact your sales rep today to learn more about products that can help fight pet obesity!