Alert
Close

Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'

Most Popular
Articles

Viewed

Commented

Are You Overfeeding Your Pet?

Cats and dogs are getting fatter — and we have no one to blame but ourselves

2. Fend off wolfing down food with stones. Some dogs and cats gobble down their food so quickly, you wonder if their taste buds have time to engage. Wolfing down food can pack on the extra pounds and cause an upset stomach, even vomiting. Slow down their eating by placing two or three washed, smooth stones in their food dish at meal time. They are forced to slow down to eat around these heavy stones.

3. Table the table scraps. Resist those begging eyes and never "treat" your pet to fatty meat scraps, gravy or other unhealthy food from your plate. These items not only pack on the pounds but put your pet at risk for pancreatitis. 

4. Dish up plenty of praise and provide neck-to-tail five-minute therapeutic massages. These options are calorie free and only serve to better connect with your pet.

5. Don't be wowed by brands. Forget thinking about brands and select based on food "formats." Look for commercial pet food that lists a real meat as its first ingredient and is deemed complete and balanced by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).

How can you tell if you are making smarter nutritional choices for your pet? Easy. You've found the right food when your pet's coat is huggable and shiny, there's a renewed pep to his step and the size of his poop shrinks. After all, the higher quality the food, the less waste produced.

Be your pet's best healthy ally by not killing him with kindness by overfeeding him. Keeping your pet at a healthy weight and providing him with regular exercise is one of the best gifts you can give.

Dr. Marty Becker, "America's Veterinarian," is the resident veterinarian for Good Morning America and The Dr. Oz Show. His latest book, Your Dog: The Owner's Manual, became available this spring. Find him in the AARPPetPals forum of AARP.org.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Cheryl's

Members save on custom baked goods packages arrangements from Cheryl’s.

Norwegian Cruise Lines

Members get 5% off on select cruises + other special offers with Norwegian Cruise Line.

Member Benefits

Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change. Join Today

Being Social

Featured
Groups

PetPals

Pet owners and animal lovers, join Dr. Marty Becker for daily tips and lively discussions on our loyal companions. Discuss

Cats

Cat got your tongue? If yes, this group is for you. Get the latest on cat hardware, food recalls and how to trick a cat into taking his meds. Discuss

Birds as Pets

Does your bird talk? Share with us some of your favorite words or phrases. Discuss