(PET CARE/ANIMAL HEALTH) If your New Year’s resolution involves losing a few extra pounds, you might want to include your pet in your weight loss plan as well.

Your chubby pet may be irresistibly cute, but his or her health is at risk. Obesity can lead to joint pain, liver problems, diabetes, and even heart failure.

Help your pet lose those extra pounds as soon as possible and live a longer, happier life. Read on for four tips to get your pet back into shape. — Global Animal

More than 50 percent of pets in the U.S. are considered overweight or obese. Photo Credit: PSDA
More than 50 percent of pets in the U.S. are considered overweight or obese. Photo Credit: PSDA

ASPCA

These days, humans aren’t the only ones fighting the battle of the bulge. Really, it’s no joke: More than half of America’s pets are overweight. While there is little doubt that these roly-poly companions are cuter than cupcakes, obesity is a medical problem that can seriously affect their health. Chubby pets are at a higher risk of diabetes, liver problems, joint pain—and even heart failure.

Enough said. If you’re the proud parent of a portly pet, it’s time to kick off a diet.

Cut the Calories.

Bottom line: Overweight animals eat more calories than they should. Work with your veterinarian to determine your pet’s caloric requirements and stick to a proper feeding schedule.

Go easy with the treats.close up of dog food

They contain a lot of unnecessary calories. If your pet begs between meals, give him a little extra lovin’, not food.

Break it up.

Instead of one big meal, try feeding your pet several small meals throughout the day. (This will help alleviate some of your guilt, too.)

Get moving.

Nothing burns calories quite like a good game of fetch—except maybe chasing a catnip mouse. Regular exercise burns more calories, reduces appetite, changes body composition and will increase your pet’s resting metabolic rate. Can’t beat that!

More ASPCA: https://www.aspca.org/

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