October 9th probably shouldn’t be celebrated with an extra Beggin’ Strip! On this day back in 2011, it was declared a national epidemic that pets, now more than ever, are unhealthily overweight. The day is made to raise awareness to help pet owners far and wide to better learn what it means to have an obese pet and what they can do to help benefit their pet for a long and healthy life.

When a pet is obese, it is kind of clear to see. It can be little things like noticing their harness doesn’t fit like it used to, their collar is getting a little hidden in those neck rolls, and it’s harder for them to go up and down the stairs without breathing heavily. But you should never diagnose your animal yourself without having a professional veterinarian’s diagnostic and further instructions, as well. So, what can you do as easy, at-home precautions?

Just like humans, we can help them watch their food intake and encourage daily exercise.

When it comes to your pet’s diet, look at the ingredients that are being added to their kibble, wet food, and/or treats. Ingredients like added sugars and other fatty products could be a result of your pet’s weight gain. Try to opt for more foods that have natural products listed, rather than a whole list of things that no one can even pronounce. You can even make your pet’s food at home with just a few simple foods you may just have lying around the house. Whip together some whole-grain rice, boiled chicken, carrots, and peas. Use frozen blueberries and edamame as tasty treats through the day or while training. Just like humans, because you’re on a diet doesn’t necessarily mean eat less, but eat healthier! These little swaps in your pet’s diet not only help them lose weight but are also beneficial when it comes to eyesight, softer coats, and helping retain hydration!

Is your pet a couch potato? Doesn’t like to walk even if you do have a pocket full of tater tots for them? That’s ok! Try taking them to your local dog park or open field and have them go exploring! If they don’t feel confined to a leash or see you walking around too, they’ll feel more confident is walking (and maybe running!) around. Try to go for daily strolls so that both you and your pet are moving about!

There is nothing wrong with spoiling your pet – we all do it! But we have to be aware of when too much is becoming too much on our pets’ bodies. We want them to live as long as they can so we can help by providing them a healthy and active lifestyle to the best of our abilities to ensure many years with our fur-babies!

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