Fresh Food and More Play: Remedies for the Obesity Epidemic

We at Marty’s Meals believe that the foundation of good health is a healthy, fresh, natural diet, whether raw or gently cooked. But that’s not all our dogs and cats require. Like ours, their bodies are made to move. There is an obesity epidemic in dogs and cats: in 2018, 56% of dogs were overweight. “Dogs and cats with excess fat are at greater risk for developing diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and many forms of cancer,” according to The first step to a healthy weight is good food in the right amount. The second step is play.

Good Food: Heavily-processed foods have low-quality ingredients, in addition to an unhealthy dose of added starches and carbs. Kibble contains anywhere from 25% to 40% carbohydrates. Dogs and cats can process about 8%; the rest of those carbs are stored in their bodies as fat and sugar. Marty’s Meals provides healthy meals (average carb content in our meals is 6%), bones, and treats in suggested portions designed to help your dog or cat maintain a healthy weight.

More Fun: Grab a catnip mouse or a feather toy and let the feline fun begin. Put the pup on a leash and make the rounds of the best pee-mail sites in your neighborhood. Go to the dog park where they can chase a flying disk and play with other dogs.

But, you may ask, what do you do when Felix meows THAT way, or Fido looks at you with THOSE eyes? My father used to sneak tater tots to our pug during dinner. No one noticed (yeah, right), so we were amazed when Buddy started to resemble a tater tot. Or a beer keg.

Healthy treats are a great way to show affection or train a food-motivated pet, and you can make them part of your time together, walking, playing, or grooming. Meaty bones are good treats, promoting healthy teeth and digestive systems, as are Jack’s Snacks. Making Fido and Felix work for their treats, with treat-dispenser toys, is good for their bodies and minds. In general, dogs need a minimum of 20 minutes a day of rigorous exercise that will keep their heart rate up, and more if they’re overweight. Dr. Karen Becker recommends that you strive for an hour of rigorous exercise a day with your dog if you’re looking to maximize health and lifespan.

How nice, that the solution to this health problem is to eat better food and have more fun together!

In his book, Ruined by Excess, Perfected by Lack, the Paradox of Pet Nutrition, Dr. Richard Patton, nutrition consultant to Marty’s Meals, addresses the problems with carbohydrates, nutrition and obesity. We recommend it.

Ask your vet about your dog’s weight. And if you have questions about how Marty’s Meals food, treats, bones, and toys can help, come on in: we can help you figure out what portions to feed your pet so they aren’t hungry but begin shedding unhealthy weight. And we have a wide array of well-made toys, leashes, and treat dispensers to make your time together both fun and good for their health.