I was watching the Martha Stewart Show recently while I was on the treadmill at the gym. On this episode she had her veterinarian, Dr. Marty Goldstein, as a guest to talk about overweight pets. It was interesting to hear Dr. Goldstein's opinion on the three factors that can contribute to overweight pets because (in my opinion) they are rather similar to the factors that can contribute to overweight humans...
To read what they are
- Diet: First and foremost, a pet's diet must be regulated. The order of ingredients on a nutrition label is so important because whatever is listed first is the most prominent ingredient. The serving size your pet should get might be far different from the recommended amount on the bag or can. Above all, limit treats. Many people question whether wet food is better than dry food. It generally takes more processing of the food to get it into a bag than into a can. Processing destroys the vitamins, enzymes and natural integrity of the food; processing makes it less whole, so generally wet food is healthier.
- Metabolic Deficiency: There are natural fat burning enzymes called L-Carnitine and chromium picolinate, which you can get at health food stores. They work well and are all natural. Before giving your pet any sort of supplement or medicinal remedy, consult your veterinarian.
- Exercise: The best exercise for a dog is jogging with him or having him retrieve a stick or ball. Twenty to thirty minutes of really good exercise a day is recommended, the more the better. For cats, increase play and encourage movement around the house.
I know the whole diet and exercise bit seems like common sense at this point, but it never hurts to reiterate it, does it? Helping your pet lose weight may also lead to helping you lose weight too. Want to really make your dog run? Consider getting a Chuck it ($7.60) ball launcher to make your dog go the distance to retrieve the ball. Buy it from Amazon.com. If you go this route, be sure to get yourself moving as the Chuck It really takes all the effort out of throwing the ball. For a sure way to get both your heart rates up: Do rounds of jumping jacks after you chuck the ball until Fido brings it back to you.