Most people embrace the holidays and really get into all the gatherings, events, and dinners (not to mention leftovers!). Guess who’s watching every move we make this holiday season? Our lovable pets, of course! They observe each slice of pie we eat, how much gravy we pour, and they (understandably) want in on the action themselves.
However, watching out for pet weight gain is always important, but this time of year can be especially difficult. Let our team help you find the best course of action to maintain your pet’s health and fitness this holiday season.
Apples, Pumpkins, Meats, and Sweets
We’re all guilty of letting things slide a bit during the holidays. That’s what New Year’s resolutions are for, right? Unfortunately for pets, if we ignore their needs or put them off for a couple months, the repercussions could be huge. A couple extra pounds on a cat or dog is like an extra 15-20 pounds on a human, and, as we all know, losing weight can be very difficult.
Above and Beyond
Pets that are considered overweight or obese can suffer from various issues, such as joint pain, inflammation, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, knee injuries, and cancer.
Pet weight is also connected to longevity and quality of life. In fact, a few extra pounds can decrease life expectancy by 15-30%. Shockingly, a recent study revealed that a vast majority of owners with obese pets actually believe their pet is at a healthy weight.
Holiday Fitness Going Strong
With this information in mind, it’s important to approach the holidays with caution. Maintain your pet’s daily exercise routine (also, a tired pet is a happy pet who won’t beg as much for holiday scraps). Consider taking your dog for a long walk or run before or after big meals.
Playtime is equally important for mental acuity and keeps the bond between you going strong. Even though the holidays demand a lot of our time and attention, your pet should continue to be a top priority.
Healthy Pet Weight
This doesn’t mean your pet can’t enjoy the holidays with you and your family. Prepare a special meal just for them with healthy options. Try unsweetened pumpkin, apples, steamed sweet potatoes, carrots, and a few bites of cooked, white turkey meat. Limit snacks and treats, and always supervise your pet around the kitchen, dining table, and garbage cans.
Remember, the following items are off-limits and can result in a pet emergency if ingested:
- Fatty, greasy food
- Turkey bones
- Macadamia nuts
- Raisins and grapes
- Garlic, onions, and sage
- Raw bread dough
From All of Us
If you’re hosting a big family gathering this year and feel your pet would be happier and safer staying somewhere else, please consider our amazing pet boarding facility. We’re happy to care for your pet during this hectic time of year.
Please let us know if you have additional questions or concerns about how to maintain a healthy pet weight during the holidays. We’re always here for you and your companion!