fat catIt’s never too late for a new beginning. Your dog or cat could be buff by the spring (or at least swim suit weather).

With the right diets, dogs and cats have nothing to lose but a little extra weight. And you could be pleasantly surprised by the not-so-hidden benefits of walking your dog. You’ll feel better too!

No one wants to admit that the family pet is overweight because he overeats or doesn’t exercise enough. Here are a few overheard quotes that show how easily it happens:

1. “One cup in the morning, and one cup in the evening. That’s it.” We hear a lot of statements in a given week that are just this side of the whole truth. Maybe the cups at their house are bigger than ours; something doesn’t add up! If the regular kibble is truly at a reasonable level, the problem may lie in the treats. It’s very easy to fall into a pattern of rewarding good behavior with Beggin’ Strips, Busy Bones and sausage links, but they add up to too many calories!

2. “My cat’s very picky. She only eats…..” Cats can be finicky, but they are natural hunters. Maybe you’ve received offerings of a dead bird or a dead mouse that your cat proudly placed somewhere you’d notice…like the bathroom rug. It’s their not-so-subtle way of letting you know that they really, really like meat. A high protein, low carb diet is best for your kitty.

3. “Nah, we don’t need to walk her. She’s in a huge yard all day!” How interesting is the same old space all the time? Dogs are not so different from us in regard to exercise. Keep it fun! A walk around the neighborhood trumps the yard every time. One of our favorite mutts loves walks (or is it runs?) so much that she’s ready to dash out the door at any given opportunity. Yet some dogs can easily become couch potatoes when they only dash in and out of the doggie door to do their business. In the wild, a dog would be motivated to either catch prey or avoid becoming prey by running very fast. In a confined area, a dog will stop when he’s tired and fail to get an elevated heart rate for any length of time.

Don’t wait until you overhear your pet asking “Does this collar make me look fat?” Working in a little more exercise for your pet often benefits the rest of the family. If you have questions about your pet’s weight, diet or exercise levels, don’t hesitate to call us!