Everyone knows that obesity has become a major issue for the American people recently. But what about our pets? They aren't immune to weight issues, either, which is why October 14th has been declared National Pet Obesity Awareness Day. This day aims to raise awareness about the issue of pet obesity, and its causes and treatments. Just as we need to watch our weight to prevent major health issues that could cut our lives short, the same is true for our pets. Here are three easy ways to fight pet obesity.

 obese cat on grass

Your pet should never look like this!

1.  Make sure your pet gets proper exercise – What do most people do when they want to lose weight? They go to the gym! Now, we definitely don't recommend bringing your cat or dog to the gym to run beside you on a treadmill, but that doesn't mean your pet can't get its proper exercise. The kind of exercise your pet needs and can get will depend on what kind of animal it is. Dogs and horses, for example, can go on walks and run around outside. House pets such as cats and rabbits can still get their exercise, but you'll probably want to do it inside. These kinds of pets will gain the most benefit from playing with toys that will encourage them to run around a bit. Cats can also use climbing towers to help them stretch their legs. Just as exercise can help humans burn calories, strengthen their muscles, and build stamina, the same is true for pets.

2.  Do you know what your pet is really eating? – You know what happens when you eat too much junk food – you gain weight and probably feel a bit lousy. The same applies to pets. Avoid feeding your pet food from the table or even the food of other animals. There's a reason that their food is different from yours or the other pets'; it’s formulated for them specifically, so that it's easy to digest and full of the proteins and nutrients that they need. However, watch out for misleading labels! As with all food, even so-called "healthy" pet food can actually be bad for them. Check the ingredients listings and look up anything you don't know. Make sure that the thing you buy your pets is actually good for them! The kind of food your pet should be eating can depend a bit on their age, height, and weight. If you are unsure about which kind of food to purchase, check with your vet first.

3.  Ask your vet about medications – Our pets are not immune to health issues, and this can affect their ability to lose weight. Factors such as genetics, thyroid problems, diabetes, and many others can make some pets more prone to obesity than others. In consequence, these pets may need extra assistance to manage their weight. If your pet has health issues and seems to be overweight, talk to your vet about cat and dog medicine that can help them. The vet may also suggest different vitamins and supplements.

Does your own personal health go hand in hand with that of your pet? Combining your exercise routine (especially if you have a dog!) with your pet's can be an excellent way to help you both stay healthy. Plus, what better workout is there than a nice walk or a slow jog around the park with your favorite furry friend? And there's nothing more entertaining than watching your cat go insane trying to catch a string! Videotape it and your cat might be the next YouTube sensation – plus they'll stay in shape!

Check out our site at Vet Supply Source for all of the supplies and medications your vet recommends!