RHINELANDER - People love rewarding their pets with treats. However, local animal experts warn too much of this kind of praise can actually be a bad thing.
Americans spent more money on their pets in 2018 than any previous year, at more than $72 billion. Doctor Alison French from French's Homestead Veterinary in Rhinelander said medical costs only take up a small portion of that sum.
"Most of it is probably in food and treats and toys," said French. "Medical bills, if you look at the breakdowns, don't seem to be the highest."
Feeding your pets too much can lead to some serious health risks.
"They don't eat like humans," said French.
While many people love giving their pets treats, they might not realize just how many calories are in them.
"A lot of people think that dry milk bones, because it's just a small biscuit, don't have a lot of calories," said French. "They basically equal the same amount of calories as a snickers bar."
French added that it's important to feed your pets a proper diet, and remember that it doesn't always align with yours.
"Cats are obligate carnivores. They need to have a meat diet," said French. "They will not survive without one. You can look at the teeth of an animal to see what they should eat."
While it's important to limit the amount of food you give your pets, you can never give them enough love.
"Love your pets because they're great to have, they help with anxieties, and they love you unconditionally," said French.