WASHINGTON - A new report says pets in America are following in the footsteps of many overweight humans. Banfield Pet Hospital's newly-released annual State of Pet Health report found that one in three pets who visited their facilities were either overweight or obese.
The study included data on 2.5 million dogs and 500 cats from across the country in 2016.
So what can you do to help your cat or dog slim down? Banfield Pet Hospital Veterinarian Alexandra Koprowsi says if your dog is overweight, the first thing you should do is reach out to your vet for help. They can give you a plan that includes diet, exercise and many other tips to help get your pet back in their healthy weight range.
Pet owners should also make sure they're measuring their pet's food correctly, helping them exercise at the right time of day (but not in the heat of the day). You might also consider joining a meet up to get your pet a regular workout with other pets and their owners.
Koprowski also recommends you count your pets calories-- but make sure you know how many calories your pet should get per day. It varies by breed and size, of course. And remember, food isn't love. Look for ways to reward your pet that don't involve treats (think: belly rub).
Watch the video above for more tips from Dr. Koprowski.
More info: Banfield Pet Hospital