Free Fat Pet Weight Loss Advice from Veterinarian Blogger
According to veterinarians, pets are facing an epidemic of obesity because of well-meaning pet owners who cater too much of the wrong foods to their pets. Fortunately however, help may be on the way as one veterinarian blogger recently posts about her weight loss trial with a new pet diet food and offers tips on how to encourage your fat cat to lose weight.
Pet owner and veterinarian blogger Ashley Gallagher, DVM is a veterinarian who works at Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington, DC and is the loving pet owner of four dogs and three cats named Poppy, Frank, Sparkle, Lilly, Furla, Vegas and Breaker.
Her blog site "Friendship Tales—Stories and Wellness Care Tips” is an informative and entertaining blog that offers help for pet owners and animal lovers who care about the health and wellbeing of their furry family members.
According to Ms. Gallagher, obesity is a growing problem with pets, and the need for weight loss is one of her most frequent recommendations to pet owners following an exam of their pet. What few pet owners realize is that obesity in pets can cause many of the same medical complications as it does in humans such as heart disease, diabetes and degenerative joint disease.
Ms. Gallagher writes that cat’s bodies were designed to eat multiple small, high protein, high fat meals a day, i.e. mice, birds and insects. However, the modern day kitty on average eats two large meals a day high in carbohydrates and without having to hunt further than a short waddle to a food bowl in the kitchen. She tells us that The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention estimates that 53% of cats in America are overweight and 19% of these are considered obese.
She warns that while some pet owners may be tempted to see to it that their cat loses weight by being allowed to run free outside during the day, she points out that this practice also significantly shortens a cat’s life expectancy. Indoor cats typically live 12-15 years, whereas the life expectancy of an outdoor cat is a mere 2 years in comparison.
To help owners find ways to get their cat to lose weight, Ms. Gallagher suggests one way is to make indoor cats work for their meal. She recommends accomplishing this task in two ways:
• Divide your pet’s daily food allowance between multiple small bowls and hide them around the house. Your cat then has to spend the day “hunting” for his food she explains, which has the added benefit of mentally stimulating your pet and encouraging physical activity.
• Use a food or treat ball―a contraption filled with dry food that your cat needs to learn how to work at to get the food to fall out for feeding.
While finding ways to increase a cat’s level of activity is a great way to achieve weight loss, just like with humans, pet owners need to count calories and do some diet restricting.
Ms. Gallagher points out that pet diets typically involves two types:
• A low calorie, high fiber diet that allows you kitty to eat a substantial amount and fill up.
• An Atkins style diet for cats that has a low carb, high protein and fat content, which in theory mimics the type of diet a cat’s digestive system had evolved to handle. However, she also point out that this kind of diet is high in calories and can cause a cat to pack on the pounds if given too much of this type of diet.
One pet product that Ms. Gallagher is field testing is Hill’s® Prescription Diet® Metabolic Advanced Weight Solution―a pet food manufacturer that Ms. Gallagher states has teamed up with the University of Tennessee to create a better system to estimate body fat in overweight animals.