National Pet Obesity Awareness Day

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Do you notice that Rover is getting a little bit bigger? Or your pet is eating all of his food and still wanting more? Humans are not the only ones who struggle with weight gain. Our pets put on weight also. Although the pounds somehow look a little cuter on our fur-friends, the consequences are just as harmful as they are for humans.

Is my Pet Overweight?

The best person to talk to about your pet’s weight is your veterinarian. If you are looking at your pet, you should:

  • Be able to feel your pet's ribs easily
  • See a waist when viewing your pet from above
  • Not see a sagging stomach when you view your pet from the side

Obesity poses many of the same health risks for dogs and cats as it does for humans.

Obese or overweight pets are more likely to suffer from:

  • Diabetes 
  • Arthritis 
  • Joint problems
  • Breathing difficulties 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Kidney disease 
  • Certain types of cancer 
  • Heart issues
  • Shorter life expectancy

Tips to Help your Pet Slim Down

If you think your pet could stand to shed a few pounds, help him lose the weight with these tips.

Make an appointment to see your veterinarian. Most people don’t know what a healthy cat or dog weight is.  Your veterinarian can assess your pet’s body type and weight, and help you develop a feeding and exercise plan that will be best for your pet.

Start measuring your pet’s food.  Measuring the food will keep it consistent.  If you use a scoop or a measuring cup, you will be able to track precisely how much food you are giving your pet and adjust accordingly.

Cut down on treats. Remember that treats are for our pets what dessert is for us. Better yet, switch to some healthy treats.  Try carrot sticks and apple slices in place of store-bought dog biscuits. Try puzzles and toys that get your pet moving before they dispense the treats.

Exercise with your pet.  Your dog or cat’s most favorite thing in the world is you.  So get moving together. Take your dog for regular, daily walks.  Play with your cat a few times each day. Physical and mental stimulation is crucial to your pet’s health.

Go easy on the table scraps.  Avoid feeding too many table scraps, particularly anything high in salt, sugar, or fat.  Remember, certain human foods such as onions, raisins, and grapes are toxic to dogs.

Consider Investing in Pet Insurance 

Looking for more ways to keep your pets happy and healthy? Consider investing in a pet insurance policy with MetLife Pet Insurance. Our dog insurance and cat insurance policies can provide the coverage and care your furry family members deserve.  Get your free quote today. 

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances. 

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.