A particularly cold and snowy winter tends to bring out our inner couch potato, and our pets are likely getting less exercise and more to eat right along with us.
According to a 2011 Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of the CMVA and Hill’s Pet Nutrition, on an average weekday pet owners spend three times as much time watching TV and nearly twice as much time surfing the internet as they do playing with or exercising their pets. 45% of pet owners say they are most likely to feed pets by making food available at all times (free choice feeding).
Perhaps it’s not surprising then to learn that veterinarians say obesity is by far the most serious effect of improper feeding or poor nutrition they see in their practices. This means that there are countless dogs and cats that are at increased risk for weight related disorders such as diabetes, osteoarthritis, hypertension and many cancers. According to veterinarians, overfeeding is the most common mistake pet owners make in feeding cats and dogs; do you know exactly how much of a particular food to feed your pet?
The next time you visit your vet, take it seriously if they tell you that your pet needs to lose weight and feed accordingly. One technology that we love is the soon to be available SmartFeeder by Petnet. While there are already pet food dispensers for sale that seek to address overfeeding, this one features intelligent sensor technology, learning algorithms, and processing power that assesses the dietary requirements of a pet, creates a custom feeding schedule to meet those requirements, and alerts pet owners when their pet has been fed. You can also monitor/adjust feeding schedules, compare your pet’s diet to other similar pets, order food and more from your smartphone, tablet or computer.
It can be hard to resist spoiling our babies, but keep in mind that the best way to “treat” your pet is to keep them healthy!