Grand Island, NE Losing weight is a common New Years resolution, and with the new year just 4 days away the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is reminding those with pets to include their animals in that goal.
Keeping an animal from getting too heavy is an issue many pet owners face.
"Animal obesity is rampant among our patients today. 40-50% of the animals I see in my practice are overweight," said Dr. Jay Stewart of the Grand Island Veterinary Hospital.
Pets that do not weigh the proper amount face many more issues, especially later in life.
Dr. Stewart said, "Being overweight they're prone to a lot of medical problems such as bone-in-joint disease, diabetes, kidney and liver failure, respiratory stress, heart problems. All of these things can multiply and get worse when pets are overweight."
The President of the AVMA, Dr. Clark Fobian, said, "Taking a dog for a walk is healthy for both the dog and the dog's owner."
"Our babies like to come out here on every good day, so whenever the weather's nice we make it a point to get them out here," said Laura Galter of Lincoln who owns 2 dogs.
However Dr. Stewart said that's not always possible with the Midwest weather. Instead, he said, there is a greater solution to animal obesity.
He said, "My #1 rule has been and continues to be this quite simple expression: 'People food for people and dog food for dogs and don't get them switched!' Because the #1 problem I see in dogs is feeding them people food."
Dr. Stewart said to also use the best pet food possible, because a healthy weight can lead to a better, longer life.
"If I can maintain that healthy state for as long as possible through that pet's lifespan then I can help these pets be successful and enjoy that interaction a lot longer that I can if that pet's lifespan is cut short obesity or any other medical problem," said Dr. Stewart.
For more information and some tips on keeping your animal healthy, visit the American Veterinary Medical Association website by clicking the link below.