Just as humans are facing an obesity epidemic like we’ve never seen before, our pets are following in our footsteps and getting larger. But due to their smaller statures, any extra weight on their tiny frames does a lot more harm to their bodies than a few pounds does to us.
Could the Overeating Be Medically Related?
Before you tackle the surface problem of overeating, it’s important to rule out any underlying medical conditions just to be safe.
With hyperthyroidism, gastrointestinal parasites, diabetes, and conditions such as Cushing’s disease, the overeating may not be entirely your pet’s fault. However, that doesn’t mean it’s okay to let your pet overeat. You’ll want to rule out medical issues with your vet as soon as you notice that your pet seems to be hungry all the time.
Is Your Pet Bored?
Just like with us, boredom and inactivity can lead to overeating. Therefore, one of the simplest changes you can make is upping your pet’s activity level. Schedule playtime with your cat and use a few engaging toys, or take your dog for longer walks around the neighborhood.
If your pet has something to do, they’ll be less likely to hover around looking for more food.
Could Your Pet’s Food be to Blame?
Commercial foods on the market — especially those found on the shelves of your favorite supermarket — are filled with unnecessary fillers and animal by-products. This may not seem like much, but for your pet, they’re loaded with empty calories. This means your pet will never feel full and they’ll constantly be on the hunt for food. This same problem holds true for treats as well.
- Ensure a proper, balanced diet.
- Check the quality and balance of the ingredients in your pet’s foods.
- If you notice any corn, soy, or wheat gluten, it’s time to switch brands. By-products should also be avoided for the sake of your pet’s health.
- Check the label for a proper balance of fiber, protein, fats, and carbohydrates. In addition, a high-quality food will also contain the essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids your pet needs to thrive.
Slow Feeders & Treat Toys Work Great
Once you’ve tackled the food, it’s time to focus your attention on the delivery. If your pet tends to eat so fast that he becomes burpy or gassy as soon as he’s done inhaling his food, you’ll want to invest in products like this slow, anti-gulping bowl. With strategic inserts, bowls like this prevent your dog from eating too much and too fast. They also cut down on vomiting and bloating.
On top of that, you can find treat releasing toys which make eating more of a fun activity. Instead of feeding the entire meal through a bowl, add some kibble to the slow releasing toys and watch how much fun your pet has. They even make treat filled puzzles for dogs to solve.
The beauty of these products is that they cut down on two problems: overeating and boredom.
So if your dear dog or cat tends to overeat, don’t sweep the problem under the rug. You’re risking the health and safety of your pet. Instead, visit your vet to rule out any medical conditions, check the quality of your pet’s food, and try to engage in more physical and mental activities with your pet.
Craig Davis, CEO and Chief Happiness Officer at www.vet-organics.com
Craig is the founder of Vet Organics, where he and his team share additional pet-related articles on the company’s blog. Vet Organics is an eCommerce provider of EcoEars and an array of premium natural products dedicated to the health and wellness of pets.