Pudgy Pets: How to Battle the Bulge this New Year. Pet owners wondering how to achieve and/or maintain a healthy body weight for Fido and Fluffy this New Year may want to think twice before reaching for traditional pet treats or snuggling up on the sofa with a pet video. A new study suggests that both daily exercise and calories consumed are related to body weight. Altering either, for example increasing exercise by 20 minutes a day or reducing calories by even ten percent, correlates with a reduction in your pet’s body mass index (BMI) and a corresponding increase in the quality of your pet’s health status and future longevity.
Ultimately researchers found that making small changes in your dog or cat’s diet and/or daily exercise may lead to a reduction in the number of pets that suffer with obesity.
Obesity which affects nearly fifty percent of America’s dogs and cats is defined as being 15 percent or more above the ideal weight for that pet’s age and breed.
Being just ten percent overweight reduces your pet’s lifespan by one-third and predisposes him or her to a variety of disorders ranging from arthritis and diabetes to cancer and heart disease.
Hormones and genetics as well as individual variations in metabolism and appetite are predisposing factors. However, the single most common cause of obesity in pets today is well meaning owners who indulge their pets with oversized portions and excessive treats.
Pet obesity has become a multi-dimensional issue with social and veterinary medical factors but maintaining a healthy pet body weight is essentially the difference between energy consumed and energy expended.
This study focused on both factors together as they relate to pet health and longevity.
Results indicated that increasing exercise by one hour ads up to four extra days to your pet’s lifespan.
Reducing your pet’s body weight by just ten percent increases his or her potential healthy lifespan by up to thirty three percent.