Friday, January 18, 2019

Steps to Help Keep Pets Healthy as Part of a Health Plan for the New Year

FROM CAT CHAT WITH CAREN AND CODY AND DAKOTA'S DEN: The info in this blog post was sent to me as a press release.  The information is timely and important. I agreed to share it with all of you and I am also adding some thoughts and comments of my own. I was not compensated for sharing this information.

Steps to Help Keep Pets Healthy

 as Part of a Health Plan

for the New Year

Have you made a plan for your pet's health  for 2019? While many people set goals to get healthy in the new year, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and Pet Food Institute (PFI) encourage pet owners to proactively review their pet’s health in 2019, as well.

“Just as you should consult your physician before embarking on a new fitness or nutrition regimen, you should consult with your pet’s veterinarian before making any changes to your pet’s diet or starting them on a new exercise program,” said Dr. John de Jong, president of AVMA.
(FROM CAT CHAT WITH CAREN AND CODY and DAKOTA'S DEN: consulting with my Vet before changing Cody and Dakota's food in 2018 is something that I didn't do and I learned the hard way. Both of my "boys", (Primarily Dakota), reacted badly to the new food and were promptly pulled off of it. I learned the hard way and before I make any changes to their diet in 2019 I will consult with my Vet first!)
Published studies suggest that up to 59 percent of dogs and cats may be overweight, though there isn’t a single cause or cure. While overfeeding is a common cause of pets gaining weight, other factors such as endocrine disorders may affect your pet’s metabolism, including hypothyroidism or hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s Syndrome).
Your veterinarian can assess your pet’s ideal weight, caloric needs, and any contributing health issues. If your pet does need to lose weight, work with your veterinarian to develop a safe weight reduction plan.
“As we make a commitment to ourselves in the new year, it’s important to also consider ways we can support our four-legged family members,” said Dana Brooks, president and CEO of PFI. “Just a few simple steps can help support a pet’s well-being in 2019, such as keeping them at a healthy weight and providing a complete and balanced diet.”

Specific steps for unique challenges include:
  • For the treat hound: Treats should be kept to no more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calories. If your pup is in the habit of getting multiple treats throughout the day, review the amount of food provided at mealtimes with your veterinarian to ensure your pet is receiving the appropriate share of treats. Once the day’s ration of treats is gone, it’s gone.
  • For the guzzlers: Eating too quickly can cause problems other than obesity. Slow feeder bowls and meal dispensing dog toys or puzzles require dogs to eat more slowly, engage mental effort and increase activity, which in turn burns calories.
  • What’s yours is mine: In a multi-cat household, it may be necessary to have separate food areas for cats. You may put one cat’s food at a higher level out of reach from a heavier cat that may have difficulty reaching food that is accessible to the cat of appropriate weight. Baby gates, cat doors and cardboard boxes with appropriately sized entrances to admit some and block other cats can also be utilized. Discuss the use of automatic feeders, including those that are microchip or RFID tag scanning, with your veterinarian to ensure that the correct cat has access to the correct food. (FROM CAT CHAT WITH CAREN AND CODY and DAKOTA'S DEN-in a "bi-petual" household such as ours it is even more important to have a baby gate to prevent your dog and cat from eating food they should not be eating. Many people aren't aware but dogs that eat cat food and cats that eat dog food can become EXTREMELY ill.)
  • Balance is key: Ensure your pet is receiving complete and balanced nutrition. Pets need a range of essential nutrients to provide energy, support body functions, such as vision and immunity, and promote healthy growth and bone structure for every life stage. When selecting food for your cat or dog, look for a pet food labeled as “complete and balanced” and for your pet’s life stage.
  • Exercise and playtime: Pay attention to what activities, environments, or playmates (human or otherwise) engage your pets. Some pets are happy to go on long walks with their owner, while others that thrive in social settings may burn more calories engaging with a group.
     To exercise a cat, engage them with a feather, toys, or laser pointer, and try to get them running after a toy as they swat at it.
“Just like humans, overweight dogs and cats are more likely to get diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, skin conditions, liver disease and joint problems,” says Dr. de Jong. “Starting a diet and exercise regimen for both you and your pet in 2019 will result in improved health and perhaps a longer life for both of you.”
For more information on pet health, visit For more information about U.S. pet food, please visit
The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world. With more than 93,000-member veterinarians worldwide, members are engaged in a wide variety of professional activities and are dedicated to the art and science of veterinary medicine. Visit to learn more.
Since 1958, the Pet Food Institute has been the voice of the U.S. pet food and treat makers. PFI is the industry’s representative before Congress and state legislatures, as well as state and federal agencies; public education and media relations resource; organizer of seminars and educational programs; and liaison with other organizations. PFI represents the companies that make 98 percent of U.S. dog and cat food and treat products, an industry with more than $27 billion in U.S. retail sales and $1.4 billion in exports in 2017. Visit to learn more.


  1. Dakota is such a good puppy ... for a dog of course ;)

  2. We only have fat cat Bert, who no matter what we do remains fat. All of us girls are slim and trim, but that guy must have a bad metabolism. One does have to be careful with food switches, but we have never had problems with it. Hope your 2019 plans go well!

  3. Good advice. I am obviously not an expert since my Chris has a cold right now but I buy freeze dried raw meat like Stella and Chewy's and use that for a treat. They love it and I don't have too worry about it being bad for them.

  4. Informative post and great fur person photos!

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  5. I did not know about 'complete and balanced'!!!! Chili eats faster than Manny, so a human must be present to keep Chili from pushing Manny off his dish to finish for him. Outside, I fear that The PO'M is much too large, but it's time for a diet! Just because of the colder weather, I won't be outside with him & Sweetie as much, so my habit of bringing kibble will naturally decrease.

  6. That was great information and we'd like nothing more than to be healthy this year.

  7. Excellent advice. Our Little Bit was cared for very carefully too. That's why she last until she was almost 13. We miss her so.

    Have a purrfect day and weekend, Cody. My best to your mom and Dakota. ♥

  8. Great info! We don't have any overweight cats here, but Woodrow is definitely quite "healthy" - if you know what I mean.

  9. Great post. Thank you for sharing. :)

  10. I was a picky eater for most of my life and was *never* interested in treats of any kind. The Human spent enough money to make a year's worth of rent payments on every kind of treat known to Catkind. Nope, nope and nope! Then suddenly last year, when I was 13, I suddenly ate a couple of chick-hen Temptations. "OMG! Where had they been all my life?" So she got so excited she bought me all kinds of treats and I got as many as I wanted--and I tried to make up for all 13 years of deprivation at once. Well, the I got ::blush:: kitty diarrhea and then I got cut off, and now I am strictly rationed. Rats. Anyway, just rambling now but this was a good article, says the Human.

  11. We have always been told our treats are "candy". and like Candy, we get some. Mom hides a few for s when she leaves in the morning and we get some when we go to bed. We would like more, but Mom says if we get them all the time then they would NOT be treats.
    We don't have any weight issues here either.

  12. A good reminder about our fur kids! I once tried changing kitty food and we both suffered unpleasant side effects!
    Ear scritches to your fur kids!

  13. That's important stuff to know, for sure! By the way, that picture of Cody going for Dad Lenny's broccoli always makes us MOL!


    1. MOL!! It's one of my faves too! BTW he still does that EVERY NIGHT...but...he does it to ME now (Dad Lenny changed seats MOL!!) xoxo

  14. Cody! Surely NOT broccoli? Mom loves it...maybe we would too if we gave it a try. XXXX Mom said I am seriously in need of a diet.

  15. Thanks for the great info!
    Have a wonderful Sunday...

    Noodle and crew

  16. Very sound advice, and surprising how many people still don't understand the need to keep canine and feline diets regulated, and apart!

  17. Great advice!

    Athena does tend to overeat and it does worry me. I am trying to stop giving her treats and I am getting her to exercise more.

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

  18. Pipo's treats are a ritual at each evening...but the number of themm is always the same. Same goes for the pups..most of the time!

    We just had both of the pups at the vet and in Aug is Pipo's appt. Unless something comes up and then we will check on there post haste!