08/29/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Top 5 Tips for a Healthier, Happier Pet

Some Dogs and Cats are Cuter When Overweight, But is it Healthy?

Ever since the ban of trans-fat in New York City, conquering obesity in humans has won a major battle, but what about your pets? In 2008, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention Study found that 50% of cats and dogs in America are overweight. We are the sole controllers of what go into our pet's mouths so we must govern what we feed our pets and how to help them control their weight. Check out these five tips to a healthier, happier, and just as hairy pet. Not every dog can have a supermodel body like Lucky so Make sure also that you check out for more information on treats that will be healthy and keep your pet fit!


1. Off to the Vet. Your vet can help identify if your pet is indeed obese or just "big boned," after all, what does an overweight Bull Dog look like anyway? Your vet can also help discover any underlying medical problems (thyroid, joint issues, etc.) that could be causing your pet's weight gain.

2. The "D" Word. Your vet will most likely suggest a diet for your pet which will include foods that are lower in fats and have all your pet's essential vitamins and nutrients. Try slowly cutting back your pet's normal intake or feed them hydrated food soaked in water, which will make them feel more full.

3. Cheaters Beware! Cut back on the treats, and even though you're dog or cat is the cutest thing in the world, keep it that way. Treats are high in fat and, when dealing with a dieting pet, should only be given on very special occasions or never at all. Find new, non-food rewards to show your pet appreciation.

4. Let's Move! This one's a no-brainer. Increased activity is a one-way ticket to a happier, healthier pet. It doesn't even matter what you get your pet to do: run, swim, fetch, dig, dance... just get them moving! And if your pet is moving around, it's likely that you will too.

5. Toys? If your pet doesn't have an ample toy supply, they should. Toys can help increase activity in pets ten-fold, especially when you're not around to play. People often wonder why dogs or cats sleep all day, well maybe they just don't have enough toys and gadgets to play with!

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