Sure, who doesn't love a cat that is extra "fluffy?" Right? It just adds to their cuteness. And dogs look like lovable butterballs of joy when they're carrying a bit of extra weight. But. As cute as we may think they look, their bodies don't find it very "cute" at all and their health will suffer.

This day was created by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention to raise the awareness of pet guardians to take action on behalf of our animal friends who depend on us to make sure they stay as healthy and happy as possible all of their days.

Just like their human counterparts, pets who are excessively overweight or obese will face many health challenges they may have otherwise avoided. They may have a shorter life expectancy. Not to mention the life span they do have may be of diminished quality.

Although sometimes medical issues are the key and need to be discussed with your veterinarian, diet and exercise are often the keys. A huge bonus? By helping our beloved pets clean up their diets and helping them engage in more exercise, that may help us too. A great couple of first steps you can take?

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Make sure to provide your cat or dog with at least one walk every day. For cats, make sure you give them dedicated playtime. Engage with them with toys that encourage them to run, jump, or just be generally active.

Another suggestion? Set specific meal times for your pet, rather than just leaving food out for them all day long. 

Ready to learn more? Find more tips and tools at Petobesityprevention.org.

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Speaking of keeping your pets healthy: