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Managing Your Pet’s Weight: 3 tips to keep dogs and cats healthy

Much like humans, dogs and cats can struggle with aging- and weight-related health issues. In fact, 3 out of 5 cats and dogs are overweight or obese, according to Packaged Facts’ U.S. Pet Market Outlook.

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(Family Features) Much like humans, dogs and cats can struggle with aging- and weight-related health issues. In fact, 3 out of 5 cats and dogs are overweight or obese, according to Packaged Facts’ U.S. Pet Market Outlook.

Pet obesity can lead to several health issues and problems, including diabetes, cancer and osteoarthritis, according to research published in “Veterinary Medicine.” While leading a sedentary lifestyle and overfeeding are common factors that can lead to pets becoming overweight or obese, these simple tips from the pet food experts at Go! Solutions can help you manage your dog’s or cat’s weight to ensure he or she lives a happy and healthy life.

Exercise and Play Regularly
Just as important as your pet’s diet is ensuring he or she is active. For dogs, regular walks and hikes are a simple way to provide mental stimulation, improve muscle tone, increase metabolism and help reduce boredom while also getting necessary exercise. For high-energy dogs who need more stimulation, games like fetch, hide-and-seek and tug can help them burn off extra energy and tire more quickly on days when you don’t have time to spend hours outside with them. For cats, consider scratching posts, flirt poles, obstacle courses, setting platforms at multiple levels and simple toys like balls and fake mice to keep them active and engaged. Some cats can even be leash trained to go for walks.

Address Dietary Needs
Diet is a major factor in weight management for dogs and cats. The ideal diet for your pet provides the right balance of macro- and micronutrients, including protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals as well as the proper portion size to help prevent obesity. Formulated by Petcurean’s expert nutrition team, Go! Solutions Weight Management + Joint Care Grain-Free Chicken recipe provides complete and balanced nutrition featuring premium quality, functional ingredients with zero by-product meals and artificial preservatives. To support a healthy weight and mobile joints in adult and senior dogs and cats, the formula includes L-carnitine to help burn fat into energy and fiber-rich psyllium husk to help keep pets feeling full. Glucosamine and chondroitin in the recipe for dogs and chondroitin from chicken cartilage in the recipe for cats helps support healthy joints and good mobility.
 

Keep Treats in Check
An important part of weight loss and management is limiting the additional calories you’re providing your pet outside of his or her normal day-to-day diet. A little extra can go a long way, so keep packaged treats to a minimum and be mindful of things like slipping your pet table scraps or letting him or her lick out the almost-empty peanut butter jar. Keeping those additional calories in check can help keep your pet’s diet – and overall health – on the right track.

Find more ideas for providing your dog or cat complete and balanced nutrition at go-solutions.com.


SOURCE:
Go! Solutions



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Lifestyle

3 Steps to Help Pets Achieve and Maintain a Healthy Weight

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(Family Features) Pet parents often show love for their pets with food. However, that extra “love” can lead to weight gain, which can increase the risk of developing other medical conditions.

More than 50% of pets are overweight, but 90% of pet parents with an overweight pet don’t realize it, according to research from Hill’s Pet Nutrition, a global leader in science-led nutrition.
To help transform the lives of pets, Drs. Vernard Hodges and Terrence Ferguson, stars of Nat Geo Wild’s “Critter Fixers: Country Vets,” are encouraging pet parents to take a proactive approach to maintaining their pet’s weight.

“As veterinarians, we want every pet to live a long and healthy life,” Hodges said. “That’s why pet parents should actively monitor their pet’s weight and address it in real time with the guidance of their veterinarian. We are proud to be a part of Hill’s ‘End Pet Obesity’ campaign to help pet parents learn about the impact of even a few extra pounds and equip them with the tools and resources they need to help their pets achieve and maintain a healthy weight.”

Consider these simple steps to get started:

Take the L.O.V.E. Test

To help assess a pet’s weight, use the L.O.V.E. Test, which includes four simple actions:

Locate the pet’s ribs
Observe from above
View from the side
Evaluate feeding behavior

“Sometimes, under all their beautiful fur, it’s hard to realize our pets have gained weight, and even just a few extra pounds can have an impact on their energy and overall wellness,” Ferguson said. “Taking the L.O.V.E test is an easy way to evaluate a pet’s body condition to determine if it’s time to take action.”

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Schedule a Visit with a Veterinarian

Pet parents who have concerns about their pet’s weight should seek their veterinarian’s guidance. Conversation starters include:

Is my pet at an ideal weight?
How can I help my pet reach an ideal weight?
How can food help manage my pet’s weight?

Switch to the Right Food

“Obesity is one of the greatest health risks for pets, and what a pet eats is one of the most important decisions a pet parent can make,” Ferguson said. “Whether your pet is a new addition to the family or has just eaten a little too much, now is a great time for pet parents to reset nutritional habits and make sure their pet is at a healthy weight – starting with the food they feed.”

Pet parents should work with their veterinarian to choose the right food to support their pet’s weight loss journey. Weight management products can help pets achieve an ideal weight, including Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight, which has shown to lead to weight loss within 10 weeks in 70% of pets fed this nutritional food. For obese pets, veterinarians may recommend a therapeutic food.

“We have been studying the impact of nutrition on how pets’ bodies function for over a decade,” said Dr. Karen Shenoy, chief veterinary officer of Hill’s Pet Nutrition U.S. “We learned lean pets have a different biology than overweight pets. This guided our development of formulas that both help support a pet’s metabolism for a healthy body weight and taste great. With the guidance of a veterinarian, it can be as simple as feeding the right kind of ‘love’ to lose the weight.”

To learn more and access free tools and resources for pet weight management, visit endpetobesity.com.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

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SOURCE:
Hill’s Pet Nutrition

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pets

5 Tips for Fostering Dogs

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Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock

(Family Features) More animals are staying in shelters now than before the pandemic, according to a report from Shelter Animals Count, and just over half (53%) of dogs in shelters are adopted. However, the report also found that fostering dogs is a proven way to help pets find new homes.

For those looking to support rescue dogs in need, the PEDIGREE® brand and its FOSTERVERSE program offer tips for a positive fostering experience and show how you can help end pet homelessness. To learn more and get involved, visit Pedigree.com/Fosterverse.


Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock

Learn the Dog’s Background

Every dog has a unique personality and set of needs, which is why it’s important to learn as much as you can before fostering a dog. Try to gather detailed information from the rescue organization or animal shelter before bringing the dog home, including age, breed, health conditions, dietary needs, energy level and even likes and dislikes. Learning about your foster dog’s background ahead of time can help you prepare and ensure a smooth transition to your home.


Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock

Prepare Your Household

Spend time making your home as dog-friendly and safe as possible by keeping electronics, cleaning supplies, sharp objects and other potentially dangerous items out of the way. This may mean taking a look at items in your home from the dog’s eye level to see what might be within reach. If you will be introducing a foster dog to other pets in your household, try to provide ample space to allow for slow introductions. Also consider looking for ways to designate spaces and belongings (like beds) between your pets so they can have comfortable places to retreat and rest.

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Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock

Train for Eventual Adoption

Once your foster dog has adjusted to the new environment, consider gradually implementing routines. These routines may include activities like obedience training, physical exercise, house training and crate training. Teaching your foster pup good habits in preparation for adoption can increase the likelihood of finding a forever home.


Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock

Market Your Foster Dog

Spread the word in your community in person and on social media that you are fostering and helping find a forever home for your four-legged friend. A survey from AdoptAPet.com revealed the simple act of sharing information on social media about adoptable pets at local shelters can save a pet’s life, with 8 out of 10 (84%) organizations reporting that sharing pet content online increases the likelihood of pets being adopted. Help get the word out and show your community members why they should consider adopting your foster pup.

Try Virtual Fostering

While many people might want to foster a pup, there are many factors that may not allow them to foster pets in real life. That’s why the PEDIGREE brand is bringing fostering opportunities to the Metaverse for anyone who owns a digital property in Decentraland, offering a new platform for dog adoption. Users may interact with dogs they meet in the FOSTERVERSE program and learn about their backgrounds and adoption status, as well as ways to support dogs in need across the country. Dog lovers can choose to adopt a dog they meet virtually through AdoptAPet.com or donate to PEDIGREE Foundation to help similar adoptable pets in need across the country.


SOURCE:
Pedigree

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Lifestyle

NATIONAL DRESS UP YOUR PET DAY

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National Dress Up Your Pet Day on January 14th provides a special day to celebrate with your pet and show off their fashion style. Pets do become part of one’s family. Whether you take a visit to the groomer or take it a step further and dress up in matching outfits, be sure your pet companion is safe and comfortable. (National Day Calendar)

#NationalDressUpYourPetDay

https://stmdailynews.com/category/lifestyle/pets/

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