In fact, did you know? -
In the U.S, around 52.7% of dogs are obese? And our feline friends are ranging in the 57.9% area. I don't know about you, but to me those numbers are alarming. So why exactly are these numbers climbing so much each year? Why are our pets becoming obese and/or overweight? There really isn't one right answer, rather several different answers. Everything from over-feeding and giving far too many treats, to health problems, or lack of exercise.
"Hey human - lay off the treats, i'm getting pretty meaty over here!"
Too many treats.
When we train our dogs, we give treats. When we are spending time with our cats, we give them treats. When we are at the counter making dinner, we give the pets some treats, when we are eating our dinner, we feed the dog some table scraps, when we have company over, our pets get extra treats. All of that sounds harmless right? Wrong. That one extra treat a day, or those few extra treats in a week can make a huge impact on your pets health and well being.
Lets face it, pet obesity can be a killer. There is no way around it. It makes me sad, and literally makes me cringe when I see a pet who is SO overweight, that they are having a hard time getting around, or even just playing as a normal, healthy pet would. Take a look at these infographics, created by Petco.com.
Some of you may be wondering...
"how am I suppose to use positive treat training methods if I have to cut back on using treats?"
You don't have to cut back on treats, period. You simply need to feed healthier treats. Think of it like you would think of yourself, and your snacks. If you eat 3 or 4 donuts per day, every day, you are bound to put on some extra pounds. BUT - if you munch on some carrots, or low calorie snacks, you are much better off, right? Your pet is the same! Take some time, do your research, and find some tasty, healthy treats to substitute for the unhealthy ones.
Take a look at a couple more info-graphics, and useful information from Petco, here.