Thursday, September 27, 2007

Overweight pets

Joanna, who is my resident link-sender passed on this CNN article earlier this week. It's an article entitled "Are you 'loving' your pet into an early grave?" and about people who overfeed their pets.
It's common for people to show their pets love by giving them a lot of food and snacks. They pour on the treats, not realizing that one dog biscuit can be 100 calories. They let cats and dogs feast on the fat of their rib-eye steaks and other scraps from the dinner table.

"A lot of owners think their pets are suffering if they aren't getting table scraps and treats," Yee says. "But dogs don't need people food; they're perfectly happy with their own food."

The article talks about how overweight pets suffer many physical problems, including the possibility of early death. This kinda scared me!

I have struggled myself with an overweight cat, Lewis. I feed him the vet recommended amount of good quality "light" food. Yet, Lewis seems to walk round with a pocket of flubber hanging from his belly. It used to be a lot worse; he's looking much better now. I decided that he's never going to be thin, and that I just need to try my hardest that he doesn't get any heavier. :-)

The article suggests two ways of telling if your pet is overweight: check to see if you can feel their ribs (but you shouldn't be able to see them), and they should have an hourglass shape when looking down at them from above (the waist tucks in right in front of the hips). It's probably a good idea to always keep an eye on your animal to make sure he's not gaining too much weight. Also, make sure you're not feeding your animal table scraps and other food made for humans.

Now, if you find that you want to build an outdoor kitchen to accommodate your pets' eating habits, you might want to reevaluate your own overfeeding of your animal. :-)

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