Pet Pandemic Weight Gain Is Real, Learn How to Safely Help Your Furry Friend

Dog

You might not be the only person in your house who has put on a few pandemic pounds! Many of our pets have gained weight in the last year, and we share tips on how to help them.

CNN reports veterinarians are seeing more pets with higher levels of obesity in the last year when compared to the year prior. The reason behind pet weight gain include:

More snacks and less activity - Pet owners are being less active themselves and many are prone to feeding their furry friends' food from the couch.

Walks in the neighborhood are shorter - Many people are limiting their time outside, which has caused fewer walks for pets and walks that are shorter distances.

Your stress can stress out your pet - CNN reports the stress you are experiencing can transfer to your pet and they can mimic behaviors like eating too much or eating too fast.

When a pet is overweight it can take a toll on their health and can lead to diabetes, kidney disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, cancer and possibly shorten their life by 2 years, Dr. Ernie Ward, veterinary food therapist and founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, explains to CNN.

To help an overweight pet, Dr. Ward suggests

- Assess the problem and if the animal has "a lower hanging stomach or a blimp or balloon look" this could be a sign the pet is overweight

- Begin to cut back on snacks and treats

- Add in more activity and start to take longer and more frequent walks

- Seek the guidance and advice of your veterinarian on how to manage your pet's weight.

Watch: Dr. Hunter Finn Says -- Don’t Give Your Pet That!

Watch: Pet Separation Anxiety and What You Can Do About it

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