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Watching Your Pet’s Waistline This Holiday Season

Friday, December 6, 2013 - 12:00pm
Small dog sitting at dining room table with a plate of food

Though we humans are often told to watch our waistlines during this season of holiday cookies and pie, it’s also important to keep our pets’ weight in mind. While it may be tempting for you or your party guests to share some extra treats from the table with your dogs and cats, those extra calories can really add up.

Pet obesity is a serious health concern. According to Dr. Louise Murray, Vice President of the ASPCA Animal Hospital, obese dogs may develop respiratory distress and are more susceptible to heat stroke. Obese dogs are more prone to pancreatitis and diabetes, have more orthopedic problems and arthritis, and their immune systems often are compromised. Overweight cats have an increased risk of diabetes, liver problems and joint pain.

To ensure your pet’s weight remains on the healthy end of the spectrum during the holiday season, consider following these simple tips:

  • Remove the pet from the room during family mealtimes.
  • Feed your pet several small meals throughout the day.
  •  Feed all meals and treats in the pet's bowl only.
  • Reduce snacks or treats.
  • Provide them with non-food related attention.

Check out our Pet Care section for more information about maintaining a healthy weight for your cat or dog.