January 20, 2012 by Linda Ford
Personally I can’t stand to watch that re- ality show, but one of my daughters just is addicted to it. I still like Survivor though. I haven’t seen anybody get fat on that show! January is the month for resolutions and a large number of large people choose this month to get started losing.
Did you know that the CDC says that 33 percent of Americans are obese? And guess what? The American Veterinary Medical Association puts pet obesity at the same percentage.
The correlation cannot be a coincidence. And both of these figures are on the rise.
Obese people and pets are subject to the same diseases associated with obesity as well. After all we have the same organs — stomach, liver, kidneys, joints. However, pets do not have opposable thumbs. That means they can’t open the refrigerator door.
When dogs are obese, they are prone to contracting diabetes, heart disease, respiratory issues, urinary tract issues and arthritis often in the form of hip dysplasia.
Obese cats can develop a very serious and life threatening disease called hepatic lipidosis or “fatty liver.”
Here is your three-step program for Fido to become the biggest loser on your block:
1. First, rule out underlying medical is sues. Some dogs are prone to hypothyroid disease. A dog with hypothyroid disease won’t have much of an appetite but still put on pounds.
2. Reduce caloric intake. Cut out all snacks. This requires getting the entire human family on board with this one. There should be some sort of penalty for anyone “cheating” on this. You need to figure the caloric requirements for your pet.
Look at the back of your feed bag and there should be recommendations for amount fed. We have a computer pro- gram that can figure this for you or I’m quite sure you can find one “online.”
3. Increase caloric use. Now, everybody can get involved in this as well, and it can be fun. Play with your pet. Take Fido for walks or runs. Play Frisbie or fetch or tug of war. Develop an exercise program for you and your pet and see if you both begin to lose weight.
Get together with friends and neighbors and start a biggest loser challenge of your own instead of watching it on TV while sitting on your couch eating bon-bons. Get toys for your cats to play with or build them multi-storey play houses. Hide their food to make them hunt for it.Whatever!
Happy New Year and best of luck with your New Year’s Resolutions.