Obesity affects over 30% of the pet population, and 50% of dogs in the US are considered overweight. Our pets eat what we provide, so we must feed them a complete diet accompanied by plenty of exercise. Although every pet’s ideal weight and activity needs will differ, there are a few universal tips to having a happy and healthy pup. Please find out how your pet’s diet and daily routine can impact their health!
Dangers of Pet Obesity:
- Increased risk for disease and health complications
- Added weight and pressure put on their hips and joints
- Can cause lethargy, lack of stamina, and shortness of breath
- May develop an intolerance for warmer temperatures
Physical Cues that Signal Your Pet’s Body Type:
What Can You Do to Manage Your Pet’s Weight?
A regular exercise program helps improve muscle development, strengthen joints, prevent obesity and heart disease. The size and breed of your dog will affect the intensity and length of exercise your dog will need each day. However, all pets will need some form of physical activity. For example, a daily walk or 30 minutes of playtime.
If a daily walk is not feasible, a half hour of playtime with your family, friends and other dogs can be just as effective and often more fun.
Your pet will live a longer, healthier life with exercise as part of their daily routine.
Your pet’s diet contributes to their weight and the amount of food it takes to satisfy and nourish them. Every bite of TLC delivers a unique blend of highly concentrated meat proteins, vitamins, and minerals. TLC Pet Food formulas are over 80% digestible, leaving your pet satisfied and nourished with less food.
The quality of the ingredients used in your pet’s food can make a difference in your pet’s weight as well. TLC uses a mix of the very best low glycemic, slow-to-digest ingredients for its carbohydrates. This includes iron-rich Oatmeal, Whole Grain Barley, Brown Rice, Millet, Sweet Potato, and Flaxseed.
Oatmeal is a low glycemic ingredient and supplies carbohydrates and amino acids. It is a good source of fiber and iron.
The glycemic index refers to how quickly the sugars and carbohydrates from food absorb into the bloodstream. High glycemic foods contain refined ingredients. For example, potato, white flour, and corn syrup. These ingredients can lead to high blood sugar, obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes. This is due to high glycemic foods containing quickly digested sugars, resulting in the body generated insulin to convert the sugar to usable energy. Insulin, in turn, triggers a hunger response in the brain, pressuring the animal to eat more food while never feeling full. Also, the insulin shock of high glycemic foods can wear and damage the organs, especially the pancreas, resulting in insulin resistance or diabetes.
According to a joint study of the International Journal on Obesity (McMillan-Price J, Brand-Miller J. Low-glycaemic index diets and body weight regulation. Int J Obes 2006), “..a low glycemic index diet will successfully improve cardiovascular risk factors and reduce body weight.”
Sometimes pets become overweight due to accidental overfeeding, but this does not happen when everyone in your household has a shared feeding routine for your pet. If you are unsure how much food your pet requires each day, you can view TLC Pet Food’s Feeding Calculator. As well you can consult your veterinarian about the correct portion size for your pet’s individual needs. Don’t forget to avoid feeding extra table scraps and keep their treat intake to the recommended amount. TLC recommends feedings 1-2 Whole Life Health Biscuits for every 10 lbs your pet weighs.
With the high obesity rates for pets, it is important to do what you can to help combat your pet’s risk. Finally, please help keep your pet at an ideal weight and provide them with a complete and balanced diet fed in the correct portions. Include physical activity in their daily routine, and your pet should have no trouble maintaining their optimum weight.