Pet Weight Loss Tips
As a responsible pet owner, you want to make sure your animal companion stays healthy and happy. An important component of this is managing their weight. Carrying around extra weight can contribute to an increased risk for certain types of cancer, heart disease, hypertension and faster degeneration of joints.
It’s important to understand that various types of pet breeds have different body compositions. Your veterinarian will be able to tell you whether or not your pet is within its recommended weight range for their specific breed.
Although it can be challenging to help your pet lose weight, here are some things you can do to help them trim the fat:
Choose Your Food Wisely
Your pet relies on you to select quality food that will contribute to their health. If your pet is on the heavy side, try switching to a low-carbohydrate, high-protein food blend that will keep them full and provide them with the energy they need, while reducing their overall carb consumption.
Be sure to measure your pet’s food in accordance with the recommended serving size. It can be tempting to measure by eye or to give your pet a little extra when they’ve had a long day, but remember - portion sizes matter! Only you can keep feeding schedules regular and portion sizes consistent.
Change Your Approach to Treats
Switching your treat choices to healthier options can also help reduce their weight - or, you may consider rewarding your pet with fun, not food. Tug of war, fetch, chase or even a snuggle on the couch can provide the positive reinforcement they need without the additional calories.
Of course, nutrition is only half of the equation, and getting your pet to exercise more requires time and effort on your part. Start small - increase the frequency or duration of playtime, incorporate a new and exciting toy, or lengthen your daily walks. While dogs have more opportunities for getting out and about on walks, trips to the dog park, or a daily swim, cat owners can still encourage their feline friends to get moving with feather toys, bubbles, and cat towers. Even if your pet spends just 5-10 extra minutes per day engaging in physical activity, those minutes add up over time.
Committing to weight loss is hard for anyone, luckily your pet has you to rely on. Plus, you’ll enjoy the additional time spent together bonding, learning, and making new memories.