Humans tend to spend a lot of time fretting over our own, and perhaps even one another’s, weight, often going to drastic measures to prevent or fight obesity. But when it comes to being overweight, what about our beloved pets? Believe it or not, animals can suffer greatly as a result of obesity too!
Not only does obesity have the power to drastically impact the general health of a pet, but it can also reduce their overall quality of life. Obesity may interfere with daily activities and even their enjoyment of certain activities such as walking, playing fetch or catching a ball.
National Pet Obesity Awareness Day is here to serve as a reminder that pets also need to have some boundaries in place that will keep them living a happy, healthy and long life for many years to come!
History of National Pet Obesity Awareness Day
To raise awareness about the issue of obesity and promote healthier diets for our pets, many animal lovers schedule this one day a year to celebrate National Pet Obesity Awareness Day.
On National Pet Obesity Awareness Day, a variety of activities are often scheduled in local communities to allow for getting the word out to pet owners.
Veterinarians may host events for National Pet Obesity Awareness Day where owners are encouraged to bring their dogs and cats along to receive complimentary health examination and screening. It may be possible to receive advice, tips and nutrition plans from professionals in the field to help them reduce the weight of the dog or cat and stop the problem escalating further tailored to their pets’ requirements.
How to Celebrate National Pet Obesity Awareness Day
Pet owners and animals lovers alike can have a great time on National Pet Obesity Awareness Day by participating in some of these activities and events:
Get an Overweight Pet to the Vet
During a regular annual checkup, most veterinarians will check a pet’s weight to make sure they fall within a healthy range, based on their breed, height and other factors. But for those who have a pet who seems to be getting pudgy or has other possible symptoms of obesity, it is important to get on the phone with the pet’s doctor.
Here are some signs that it’s time to get Rover or Felix over to the vet for a weight check:
- Sagging belly or midsection
- Lagging behind on walks, or resistance to going at all
- Excessive panting or other breathing difficulties
- Fatigue, tiredness and refusal to play games
Join a Local Pet Obesity Awareness Event
Head on over to one of the above mentioned events to celebrate National Pet Obesity Awareness Day! During many events like this, local sponsors might have games and activities for pets as well as their owners to participate in. And sometimes vendors will participate by handing out free healthy dog snacks, trial size merchandise, or other treats to enjoy.
Take Your Dog for a Walk
One of the best ways to reduce or prevent pet obesity is to get outside for a walk. A walk probably won’t hurt the human owners either, for that matter! In honor of National Pet Obesity Awareness Day, begin a new habit of grabbing a leash and getting that pup out in the neighborhood or over to enjoy a dog park. Since the cooler autumn may already be in full swing by this time, it might also be a good time to think about picking up a sweater or jacket for the pup so that everyone is ready to keep going for walks, even when inclement weather hits!
Cut Back on Snacks and Treats
It is difficult to deny these furry companions of the food they constantly beg for, and seeing the delight on their faces when they are given treats and scraps from lunch or dinner is one of the greatest things about having a pet. But indulging them in this regularly is probably doing more harm than good.
In honor of National Pet Obesity Awareness Day, maybe it is time to make a commitment to being more careful about what and how much Rover is eating by cutting back on table food or treats. Have the family stop feeding Felix their scraps and perhaps begin weighing out their food to have an accurate understanding of how many calories they are consuming.