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Owner Behavior to Blame for Pet Obesity, Researchers Reveal
A review published in a veterinary journal suggests pet owners are to blame for their pet’s excess weight.
For the last seven years, pet obesity has been on a constant rise. The numbers of pets who are struggling with extra pounds is growing exponentially, and it’s a serious matter. Overweight pets have a lower quality of life, are more susceptible to diseases such as diabetes or arthritis, and have a much shorter lifespan than their fitter fellows. Having in mind the severe consequences of pet obesity, what are we to do if we want what’s best for our furry bestie? According to new research, it seems that we should start with changing our behavior.
A literary review to be published in Preventive Veterinary Medicine revealed that owner’s behavior has a tremendous influence on the weight of their pet. Of course, having in mind that you’re the primary and only caretaker of your four-legged companion, it doesn’t come as a surprise that it’s your decisions and practices that matter the most. Pet owners who are less likely to spend their free time walking their pet, don’t pay attention to their pet’s diet or tend to spoil their furry baby by indulging them with treats are probably going to have an obese pet.
However, it’s not all bleak- where there’s a will, there’s a way, and the same is true for this issue. Behavior can be changed with a little effort, and your actions don’t have to be detrimental to your precious pet’s well-being. The team behind the review suggests making small but meaningful changes in your behavior to help your pet lose weight. These include setting goals that are related to your dog’s weight loss plan, such as frequent walks and strict feeding schedule. Additionally, consulting a vet for tips on feeding and well-balanced diet as well as going on routine weigh-ins can help you stay on track.
Overall, it seems that the winning strategy is teamwork. You and your four-legged companion need to work together if you want those pounds to go down- and stay there for good.