There is a new term floating around–and numbers to back it—showing pets are gaining the ‘Quarantine 15’ during this extra time at home. In fact, Wakefield Research Hospital revealed 33 percent of pets have gained weight in quarantine.
With pets and their owners spending more time together at home, many of us are showing extra affection by handing over more treats. Plus, many people and pets are not getting the proper amount of exercise due to some gyms or parks being closed. We are not here to lecture though—we simply want to help educate pet owners. Obesity and even being slightly overweight can lead to diabetes, heart disease and arthritis in pets. Many knee and back surgeries can also be avoided when a pet’s weight is maintained in a healthy range over its lifetime.
Ideal weight can be different among dog and cat breeds. We take into consideration age, gender, and whether the pet is spayed or neutered. Put simply, your cat or dog should have an ‘hourglass figure’ when you view his or her body from above, and it should be easy to locate the ribs.
To avoid the ‘Quarantine 15’, start playing more. Throw the ball further during fetch. Create a log to chart walks. For cats, purchase a new ‘chase toy’ to spark interest and get them off the couch.
Regarding nutrition, it is hard to resist those “puppy dog eyes,” but we must limit treats. Make sure the whole family knows when a pet has received a treat, too. Also, take note of how many times your pet eats meals daily. Remember, puppies and kittens should only be fed three times daily until they reach six months old. Adult dogs and cats only need to eat meals twice a day.