Science Reuters

Is your pet cat overweight?

Animal experts Jacqueline Boyd and Anne Carter share weight-loss tips.

Giving your cat or dog an extra treat to nibble on is not always the healthiest move. Just like humans, pets can suffer from weight issues. And it’s a growing problem. In a recent survey of veterinarians, 73 percent said that obesity was “one of the most prevalent conditions” they see, with as many as half of pet dogs and 44 percent of cats carrying excess body weight.

Here are some ways to keep your dog or cat in great shape.

Make them active. Especially the engage the indoor cats in regular out-exercise, and exercise your dog at least once a day. Take care to ensure the length and type of exercise is appropriate for their age and ability, and increase any exercise slowly.

Keep track of their diet. Weight loss should be a gradual process. Always follow recommended feeding guidelines on food packaging – or online calorie calculators – and weigh your pet’s food accurately using a scale.

Ditch high-calorie treats. Don’t feed them high-calorie, human food leftovers it also increases the risk of pancreatitis. But you can still treat dogs with foods like carrots or cucumbers, and for cats, give them tuna or chicken.

It is important to recognize what healthy body weight and shape are for your cat or dog. Take your vet’s advice.

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