01 Jul Battle of the Bulge
The Centers for Disease Control reports that over one-third of Americans are considered obese. It should therefore be no surprise then that the nation’s pets are also packing on a few extra pounds.
According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), an estimated 56% of dogs and 60% of cats in the United States are overweight or obese. That translates and 50 million chunky canines and 56 million fat cats. For dogs that breaks down to 36.4% overweight and 19.6% obese; cats weigh in at 26.5% overweight and 33.5%.
Shouldn’t we know better? A majority of pet owners can’t plead ignorance: a full 53% of the APOP’s survey respondents reported that their veterinarian consulted them about their pet’s weight. It just seems that when it comes to extra portions and treats, we can’t tell our four-legged friends “no.”
That’s because they beg. They whine. They cajole. They look at us with those sad eyes. And ultimately, we give in. Typically, it starts with table scraps. Pretty innocuous stuff: bits of leftover meat, potatoes, even bread. But a dog or cat isn’t terribly discerning, able to appreciate varieties of “people food” or the differences between dinner or dessert.
Feeding a dog or cat a few leftovers from dinner seems relatively harmless. However, even a few pounds of extra weight can have significant health effects on your cat or dog. You may notice that your overweight pet has less energy or sleeps more than when they weighed less. But added weight causes more significant, often hidden risks: diabetes, hypertension, liver disease, osteoarthritis, and even an increased risk of cancer. And a shorter, lower-quality life.
Unfortunately, these behaviors have been reinforced and we as pet owners are loathe correcting them. But there is a clear difference between indulging a pet and loving a pet. As with weight loss in human beings, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight starts with counting calories, portion control, and discipline. For a pet, it means providing healthy food in measured quantities and absolutely no “people food.”
“It’s difficult enough for a house pet to maintain a healthy weight, and a poor diet makes it nearly impossible” says Peter Orlando, Director of Product Development at NaturPak Pet. “Exercise is obviously important, but good quality food is even more critical to maintaining a healthy weight which contributes to good health and longevity.”
NaturPak Pet is doing their part to provide pet owners with natural, healthy food options. NaturPak Pet is focused on the development and manufacture of complete and balanced wet pet food products, using fresh and whole food ingredients for both dogs and cats. NuturPak Pet’s wet foods come packed with probiotics, omega fatty acids, and protein. Combined with exercise, these foods are helping pets maintain health and vitality. For more information on the benefits of NaturPak Pet food, contact a representative today.