It's really not okay how fat pets are anymore, and the New York Daily News really needs you to understand that pet obesity — like grown-ass-person obesity, childhood obesity, and manatee obesity — is becoming a serious problem in America, a problem you are no doubt contributing to by hastily buying your pet Beneful from the grocery store and never forcing the poor, cholesterol-choked animal to exercise.
First of all, though it's definitely not okay to fat-shame people, it's completely fine to fat-shame pets because they can't understand people-words. It's a scientific fact. I know Homeward Bound offered us a view of pet life that made domestic animals seem remarkably articulate and prescient, but they're not — sometimes they get stuck in paper grocery bags for like no reason. Maybe your pet won't understand all of your frustrated exclamations about its steadily increasing girth, but at least it'll give the two of you a starting point for developing a sensible pet weight-loss regimen. The Daily News suggests making easy changes, like not getting your pet crap food and instead springing for the really smelly grain-free selections that cats especially seem to go nuts for. It's also important, however, to make sure your pet gets enough exercise:
There are many ways to exercise your animal, and if you know what they'll work for or what their trigger is, the job of getting your pet active will be easier. For example, if your pet will do anything for food, grab a handful of kibble and reward his or her activity with a piece of kibble instead of cookies or treats. Make them work for rewards, especially of the food kind; run first, treat later.
We can level with ourselves by admitting that the Daily News is probably only really talking about cats and dogs, and since fat cats are adorable and, if they live indoors, very appropriate, we only need concern ourselves with canine obesity. Dogs of a certain age will run until they literally can't move anymore, and will also eat (people food) until they get sick. All dog owners have to do to keep their dogs in shape is not feed them meatballs and walk them regularly. Or — and this is my grand money-making scheme, so everyone back off — dog owners need to enroll their dogs in special sled team classes taught by a steel-eyed health club husky named Asbjørn.