One way that pet owners often show their affection for their beloved pet is through food. However, they do not realize the detrimental impact that animal obesity may have on their pet’s health. Like humans, obesity in animals may cause diabetes, heart problems and arthritis. Therefore, it is important to take preventative measures to avoid animal obesity becoming an issue for your pet. If you are a dog owner,  here are five simple steps you can take to prevent your dog from becoming obese.

1.    Discuss calorie intake with your vet. Different sizes of dogs have different dietary requirements. The larger the dog the more calories they will need. It is important that you know exactly how much your dog needs.

2.    Plan an exercise routine. Exercise is a important part of general health and fitness. Dogs need regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight, either through walking or through energetic play. Look at your daily routine and make a plan for when it is best to exercise your dog.

3.    Skip the snacks. While offering your dog healthy snacks as a reward or as an occasional treat is fine, giving them treats between meals on a regular basis or slipping them food off your dinner plate is not.

4.    Spread your dogs meals. If your dog seems hungry between meals, then give them more meals throughout the day but in smaller portions. This is similar to the human diet concept of eating little and often.

5.    Use a smaller bowl. There are some studies that have shown that if you have a large bowl you will feed your dog a larger amount of food than they need simply to fill the bowl. So, by using a smaller bowl you are more likely to feed your dog a realistic amount.

By following these five simple steps you are taking sensible precautions to avoid animal obesity and you are being a responsible pet owner. These tips will help to lower the risk of your dog suffering from a wide range of health problems that could affect their life span and quality of life.


PetSmart is one of North America’s best known chain of pet stores. But did you know that PetSmart also sponsors pet charities that consistently get a five-star rating on Charity Navigator? Donating just a dollar at the checkout helps fund many worth charities and saves the lives of many dogs, cats and other pets. PetSmart Charities helps by:

  • sponsoring adopt a pet fairs
  • working with other animal welfare organizations to help pets and their owners in times of natural disasters
  • transporting animals from overcrowded shelters to under crowded shelters
  • gives substantial grants to animal shelters.

In Just One Year

In the year 2012 alone, PetSmart Charities helped save the lives of over 445,000 pets by getting them placed in forever homes. PetSmart Charities also helped donate grants to over 3,000 animal rescue groups in North America. In October of 2012, the East Coast was devastated by Superstorm Sandy. PetSmart Charities helped the victims by donated over 450 tons of pet food for relief efforts.

Applying for a PetSmart Charity Grant

Since 1994, PetSmart Charities has handed out over $27 million in grants for shelters in Canada and all 50 states of the US. Animal shelters can easily fill out an online application form available at the PetSmart Charities website. Three general types of grants are aviable:

  • grants to fund free or low-cost spay or neutering programs
  • grants to help increase pet adoptions for your shelter
  • grants to help fund emergency relief for animal victims of natural disasters and unnatural disasters like pet hoarding, dog fighting or clearing out puppy mills.

Follow these 5 steps to be a great animal shelter volunteer:

1) You must be dedicated to the health and welfare of the animals you take care of in the shelter by giving them your love and kindness, showing them you care by taking care of them when they are sick and feeling left out, being their friend when they have lost their friend.

2) Make sure that they are fed and watered as per the instruction for the animal.  If an animal requires a special diet make sure that they only get the food that is recommended for that animal.

3) Take the time to play and walk with the animals.  Some animals require more vigorous work outs to keep them happy, others only require some petting and attention.  Take the time to know the animals you work with.

4) Once you know the animals, read what other volunteers have said about the animals in their write-ups.  Keep track of what you notice about the animals and add your own information about each and every one.  Some of the items you can keep track of are:

  • How well they respond to voice command while playing
  • How well they walk around people and other animals
  • How well they play with other animals
  • Weather or not they adapt to having animals of other species around them (cat and dogs)
  • Weather or not they are approachable by other people

5) You must always be there at your appointed time because the animals depend upon you to be there.  An exceptional volunteer will also make time in their holidays to make sure that the animals are well taken care of.

If you are thinking of becoming an animal shelter volunteer then the five items above will give you a clear idea of what is needed.  This is really what any animal needs weather or not it is at a shelter, in the home, or a stray.  They all need love and attention.