With all of the attention the single mom gives to a nutritious diet for the family, we don’t always realize that the family pet needs the same consideration. It takes more effort to raise a healthy pet than making sure he has fresh water and gets fed every day. Just as health problems arise when our kids are not healthy eaters, a pet who is allowed to become overweight faces medical risks that can lead to illnesses and even a shorter life span.
Pet food usually has suggestions on the feeding of your pet printed on the package. The proportions are geared to the amount to feed a healthy, active pet. If your four footed family member isn’t getting enough exercise on a daily basis, the recommended feeding guidelines may cause the animal to gain weight. It may make the little darling look adorable, but it can be endangering his health.
Different breeds of dogs have different needs on the types of exercise they can undergo. While a large dog will enjoy accompanying you and your family on a long walk in the early evening, a tinier breed of dog will tire quickly as his short legs try to keep up with your stride. If he becomes tired, you will end up carrying him home.
Dog breeds that are high energy, like terriers and Chihuahuas will use up their energy quickly as they try to keep up. Dogs that have been bred to perform certain functions to help their owners will continue with their tasks even when they are exhausted. For example, Labs and spaniels were bred to swim. You will have to pay attention if you take them to a lake for their exercise, and at any signs that they are becoming tired you will have to call them in. They probably won’t return to you on their own, no matter how tired they become.
Once you have your pet on a regular exercise routine you have a better understanding on how much to feed them each day. Now is the time to recognize how many treats the family pet consumes. Many pet owners reward their dogs with treats. Like with kids, there is nothing wrong with an occasional treat, but you have to keep track of how many the animal gets during the day.
Some dogs and cats will beg for a treat when you come home after an extended absence. Some are accustomed to getting a reward each time they return from the yard. Many families reward their pets by serving them the table scraps, and it seems almost every family has a child who has learned that their dinner will be finished sooner with the help of the dog who sits beside his chair at every meal, looking at him with those large begging eyes.
Guests, too, often offer a tempting treat if the pet is allowed to be near the table while the humans are dining. When you add up all of the snacking you pet may be doing throughout the week you will quickly get an understanding on why he seems to be putting on the pounds.
You wouldn’t give your kids free access to the cookie jar. The same restrictions should be put on a family pet.