Pet Practices To Prevent Your Pet From Being Overweight Or Obese

Behaviors pet owners need to practice to prevent health problems.

Pet owners' behavior can affect a dogs weight, study finds.
4 PM production / Shutterstock

Behaviors pet owners need to practice to prevent health problems.

According to a literary review, the behavior of pet owners could heavily influence the weight of their pets. Pet owners know that a fluffy companion can have a tremendous effect on a person’s life. Many studies have observed and analyzed how pets can improve their owners’ health. However, the relationship between pet parent and their fluffy friend doesn’t always go one way. An owner’s behavior can significantly affect the well-being of a pet as well.

Not many people consider how they affect their pet’s life through their behavior. According to Marta Krasuska and Thomas Webb, who penned an article published in Preventive Veterinary Medicine, pet parent practices can affect a dog’s health.

“Owner’s behavior contributed to ‘the obesity epidemic’ among companion dogs. Fortunately, behavior can be changed, and the present review suggests that interventions designed to help owners to improve their behavior concerning their dogs can have beneficial effects on outcomes, particularly the condition of the dogs.”

One of the benefits mentioned again and again in health articles about pets is that furry friends can encourage their owners to become more active, as shown in this CDC article. Dogs, in particular, improve a person’s chances of being active because of the frequent walks they need.

The key word in articles like these, however, is “encourage.” Not all dog owners take those frequent walks. As a result, their dog doesn’t get the exercise he/she needs and could become overweight. In this case, the human affected the dog’s health and not vice versa.

Below are some pet practices owners should keep in mind to maintain their pet’s health.

Visit the Vet: One of the good things about behavior is that it can be changed. So if you that your actions may have been detrimental to your pet’s health, don’t worry. You can change. Visit your vet first to get a good idea of how your pet is currently doing. Talk with the vet to recommendations on how to proceed with your pet’s health in the future for better results.

Set a goal: If your dog is overweight, underweight, or even at the right weight set a goal for their health. Setting a goal will help you make a plan.

Pet owners need to be mindful of how their actions affect their pets.
  4 PM production / Shutterstock

Do your research: There are certain variables you need to consider as a pet parent when it comes to health, like age, breed, reproductive status, and pre-existing diseases, reported Vet Street. Do your research on the best food to feed your pet, how much exercise they might need, and other activities you can engage in with your pet.

Make a Plan: Make a plan for how you are going to reach that weight goal or maintain your pet’s health status. For instance, if they are overweight decrease the amount of food you are giving them every feeding. You may also want to decrease the number of times you are feeding your pet.

Psychology Today estimated that about 60 percent of dogs are overweight or obese which could increase the chances of certain diseases like diabetes. Take note that the site’s statistic doesn’t consider other pets, like cats. The percentage of overweight or obese pets could be higher than that or lower. Either way, though, it is vital to be mindful of how we can affect our pets health. To prevent your pet from becoming overweight or obese stay conscious about how you are affecting your pet’s well-being.