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.
“But he’s so cute when he begs for treats,” says my neighbor about the bulging body of the little chihuahua.
“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 Earthborn Holistic Natural Canned Food For Cats Grain Free Chicken Catcciatori
- 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 Cat Dancer Interactive Cat Toy
Dogs Delight Dinner
- Befriend Fido with a choice that’s right for his size, breed and age:
Adult? Try Earthborn Holistic Natural Dry Dog Food Coastal Catch
Small breed? Consider Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Dry Dog Food Turkey and Oatmeal recipes
Puppy? Consider Halo Purely For Pets Spot’s Stew® Puppy Formula
- 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 Wubba Dog Toy