Pennsylvania – One of your New Year’s Resolutions might be to lose some weight, but what about your pet? Is your pooch a little too plump?
A recent survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention found more than 50 percent of dogs are obese.
Kevin Fitzgerald is a Denver-based veterinarian/comedian and has been featured on the cable network Animal Planet. He says because dogs are naturally hunter-stalker animals, the American couch potato lifestyle isn’t suited for their genetics.
“And so we need to do a better job with providing exercise, so including them in family things that they can go with you and get some exercise becomes critically important,” he stresses.
Listen to his interview.
Fitzgerald says while exercise is important, real success comes down to food intake, and sometimes that involves a little tough love.
“Your animal is totally dependent on you for whatever is put in his mouth,” he stresses. “It’s not like he’s ordering things, and so I think we need to provide good, healthy food.”
The vet acknowledges it can be tough to carve out exercise time for yourself and your pet, but it can be rewarding.
“It takes some discipline, and you have to earmark some time for yourself to spend some quality time both for yourself and for your animal,” he says.
Especially around the holidays, it can be tempting to give your dog part of that big family dinner. But experts also recommend staying away from table food since it often includes a lot of empty calories not helpful to a dog’s diet, and cutting down on the treats.
For more information and tips, visit Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald’s website.