My neighborhood is unusually pet-friendly. Two poodles and a tiny chihuahua-daschund mix live on one side, and a cheerful, tail-wagging golden retriever lives on the other side. And in between them, my rescue cats Bob and Miss Kitty observe the entertainment.
What all these pets have in common: Their weights range from chubby to obese.
“Everyone feeds him,” admits the retriever owner.
As for me: I plead guilty to feeding Bob when he sits on my feet and looks up longingly as I eat, patting my ankle gently to remind me that he’s hoping for tidbits to drop from the sky (or at least the human hand).
And we’re not alone: More than half of our nation’s pets are overweight or obese, according to a survey of veterinarians by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. The survey revealed that 53 percent of adult dogs and 55 percent of cats are classified as overweight or obese.
So what’s the solution? Stop feeding our pets table food and fattening treats (sorry, Bob). Fortunately, Vitacost has a wide range of pet-friendly options.
Tip: Always talk with your vet about personalized pet recommendations for foods. Consider printing out from the Vitacost site different options, then take them to your next pet appointment and get advice on the best selections.
Cats Meow Menu
- For cats, consider a grain-free choice for meals, such as Halo Purely For Pets Spot’s Pate ® For Cats Grain Free Ground Chicken Recipe
- Trying to bribe your cat (er, we mean teach your cat) to stay off the counter when you’re cooking? Put a protein-rich treat made for cats on the floor, such as Greenies Feline Oven Roasted Chicken Dental Treats, which has the added advantage of whitening kitty’s teeth
- Exercise is important, too, so try playing more with a plump cat, using a product such as Our Pets Play-N-Squeak MouseHunter Cat Toy (squeak!)
Dogs Delight Dinner
- Befriend Fido with a choice that’s right for his size and breed:
Small breed? Consider Natural Balance Pet Food L.I.D. Small Breed Bites Sweet Potato and Chicken Dry Dog Food
Large breed? Try Halo Purely For Pets Spot’s Stew ® Wild Salmon Adult Dog Formula
Puppy? Consider Wellness Just for Puppy Canned Dog Food
- For training, use a high-quality dog treat, such as Castor & Pollux Organic Chicken Dog Cookies, rather than people food
- And of course dogs need playtime to burn off those excess pounds, so try a toy such as Kong Dr. Noy’s X-Small Duckie
Joanne Eglash, Vitacost.com’s Diet Diva, has a master of science in holistic nutrition and more than 15 years experience as a nutrition consultant, blogger, author and journalist. She has written for a wide range of publications and websites, including ediets.com, Natural Health magazine, Shape magazine, Success magazine, Energy for Women and Chefs. Joanne is currently the national Diets columnist for the online news and entertainment site, Examiner.com, and a features food columnist for Yahoo.
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