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Factors Contributing to Overweight Pets

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 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.


Join The Conversation
XDeexDeeX XDeexDeeX 10 years
My cat is thinner than usual cats. She stays outside all day and gets a lot of exercise. She has real puffy fur but when she's wet she's so skinny.
SU3 SU3 10 years
haha.. we love our Chuck It too! I agree Kscincotta, it's definitely a plus when we don't have to pick up the slimy ball. The dogs LOVE running after it :DOG: SaraH - have you tried one of those catnip toys where you throw it and they run after it. That way she can get plenty of exercise and enjoy it herself. Or you can always make one of those toys for her - tie an aluminum ball at the end of a string. I know my friend's cat goes crazy for it! She loves chasing after it and 'boxing' with it. hehe I think she likes the shininess. The laser pointer or flash light is also a good idea...
ZergGirl ZergGirl 10 years
Hahah, cats don't move unless they decide to...and mine very rarely decides to, LOL. My girlie is 10 y/o and pudgy, but try to get her to do anything, and you just get this 'are you out of your mind?' look from her. Something of note--fixed kitties get heavier than non-fixed kitties. That's what my vet told me after I had Moji spayed.
My pup was a little chunky while I was living at home saving to buy my condo (we called her full figured as to not hurt her feelings :)). The problem there was my dad sneaking her treats every 5 seconds. She lost that weight pretty quickly when I moved out... As far as the over weight kitty goes... have you talked to your vet about different ways to exercise her? My brother has one of those laser pointers and his cats go CRAZY for that thing- they run around like nuts! I have no idea how to make a cat exercise...
kscincotta kscincotta 10 years
I love our Chuck It! It's so much fun and a surprisingly decent arm workout for me. Plus, I don't have to touch that nasty tennis ball after the pup drops it on the ground, which is a great bonus.
gumdrops334 gumdrops334 10 years
Sorry, can't help ya there. I have a dog, so I have no idea how to treat an overweight cat. However, my (small) dog was a little overweight in the past according to the vet. I'm not sure if she's at a healthy weight yet, but I do know that my family feeds her Benefit dog food (not sure if they have cat food, but they might) and its supposed to be healthful. We need to take her on more walks more often, but its impossible for me since I now go to college and my baby is at home.
SaRaH-22 SaRaH-22 10 years
ah my little girl kitty is so fatty....i try and do everything and i just cant get her to loose the weight. We made the mistake of leaving one of those automatice feeders out for them when we went to Vegas for the weekend(i was affraid they would run out and be hungry) so i filled it up and was like better to have extra then not enough. (afterall she was a kitten and i know htye need a lot of food to keep growing) Yea, well that idea didnt go so well..the Vet thinks that she got depressed that we were gone and just ate the whole time we were gone. we came back and if she hadnt just been fixed i would have thought she was prego! so now we measure her food intake and give her food for over weight cats and she is only 1 1/2 anyone have any other suggestions what to do for her?!?
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