No doubt you have seen overweight dogs at the park or tubby cats lounging on neighborhood porches. The pet obesity problem, like with humans, is part diet and part inactivity. So how can you ensure your pet doesn't gain weight, particularly if you are feeding it people food?
Betsy Saul, co-founder of PetFinder.com says, "A serving size of food for pets depends on the animal's age, size and even activity level--just like humans! Pet food bags and cans often recommend that you feed your pet a certain amount of food per day. Remember that this guide is not absolute. You should monitor your pet's weight carefully. If he gains weight, you should feed him less, and vice versa."
Regarding home-cooked meals, Saul suggests feeding your pet about the same amount as you would pet food. She adds, "Six ounces for an average-sized dog is a good estimate. [And] if you are mixing people food into your pet's dish, keep it to bite-sized portions."
Some pets don't know when to stop eating, while others stay trim on a free-feed diet. And yet some pets that don't overeat pet food will overeat people food. Be cautious about your pet's overall diet--monitor portions for both people food and pet food. Saul warns, "You don't want to overfeed your pet--animal obesity is just as dangerous as [obesity] for humans."
Another key in keeping your pawed pal healthy is to take the time to keep your pet active. You can workout with your pet to keep you both fit and you can also enter one of the many canine competitions held around the country.
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