Things to consider when feeding your pet.

It’s no secret that the United States has an obesity problem. Did you know that it also has a pet-obesity problem?

When you look at pictures of people from the 1970s and earlier, you’ll notice that everyone is thin and happy. Today however, everyone has a few extra pounds. And if you aren’t carrying extra weight, then you are the exception to the rule.

Our pets are also carrying some extra weight, as their eating and exercise habits typically mirror their owners. In fact, 60 percent of the country’s cats are overweight, and dogs have a 56 percent obesity rate.

So, what does that really say? Your pet is fat for the same reasons you are.


Let’s be honest – your cat or dog does not have opposable thumbs, and does not feed themselves. That means that YOU are the main reason they are fat.

And just like you, they’re probably not hungry – they’re BORED.

Most of us haven’t known real hunger in a very long time.  When we get bored, we stand up and walk over to the fridge, to see what looks appetizing.  And that’s usually a cue for your pet to walk over to their food bowl.

In reality though, BOTH of you should be heading to the front door for an 8 block walk around the neighborhood.


Being fat carries a whole host of health issues.  In fact, the same issues that plague fat PEOPLE, also plague fat PETS.  That includes diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease and joint problems.  So, if you want a healthier pet, be a HEALTHIER PERSON.

  1. Stop snacking.  If you’re snacking, they want some, too. 
  2. Stop overeating.  Our pets are evolved from wild animals, and in the animal kingdom, carnivores eat once every day or 2 (sometimes 3 or 4 days).   When they eat, they fill their bellies, to carry them over to their next meal (of which, there is no guarantee).  Your cat or dog can THRIVE on *1 meal per day, that can be consumed in 3 minutes or less.  And by feeding them less, you can feed them healthier food for the same daily cost, or less.
    • *NOTE: While many adult pets live a very healthy lifestyle on one meal per day, feeding smaller meals, twice daily should be considered for overweight pets who are used to eating throughout the day, as they may experience excess stomach acid and vomiting, while getting used to the new schedule.
  3. Get some exercise.  Eating less is essential to weight loss, but the easiest way to curb your eating is to get away from the food and all of the triggers that promote your bad dietary habits.  Grab the leash and go for a walk.


Coyote in Los AngelesOne more thing. Forget the fact that overeating will hurt you and your pet’s overall health.  Overeating will absolutely make your pet a target for predators like coyotes.

“Coyotes?  Ha ha ha!

Yep.  120 years ago, coyotes were primarily found in the plains states, but today they are in every state, except Hawaii.   In fact, we “exterminate” around 400,000 coyotes a year (the federal government is responsible for about 80,000), and their numbers continue to grow.

Today, coyotes are found everywhere, including Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Washington DC, New York City and Tampa, Florida.  In fact, the majority of missing pets are the result of wild predators, like coyotes, foxes and alligators – NOT dog fighting rings or random pet thieves.   Wild animals prey on house pets who cannot protect themselves or run away.

So, take care of your pet by taking care of yourself FIRST.  And if you love having your pet around, don’t turn them into a tempting meal for a coyote.