by A. Grano on November 11th, 2011 at 7:00 am
Have you ever taken your pet to the vet, expecting to receive praise on how healthy your four-legged friend is– and instead gotten scolded on how you’ve allowed them to become a chubby, unhealthy pet?
Studies have shown that nearly half of the dogs and cats in the US are overweight. Most pet owners are not aware that their pet is overweight as often the ideal body weight depends not only on the breed, but also on the sex of your pet.
It is best to ask your vet about your pet’s ideal weight, which will help determine how much weight your pet should lose.
Your pet may be overweight if he or she:
- Pants with mild exercise
- Has fat around the backbone and rib cage
- Appears to be tired and sluggish
Tips for pet weight loss
- Diet. A great way to get your pet fit and to a more suitable weight is to change his or her diet. This may consist of changing your pet’s food altogether or just giving less food. Giving your pet less food may become an issue because pets love to eat! Instead of 2-3 large meals throughout the day, break up the food into 5-6 smaller meals. By breaking up their meals, they may not notice that their food intake has lessened. Be aware that new diets may bring digestive problems for your pet. If you changed your pet’s food, mix 25% new food to 75% old food for 7-10 days, gradually making the mixture 100% new food to help avoid digestive upsets. Also, it’s important that you don’t feed your pet snacks in between meals and refrain from giving them table scraps, which are usually always high in calories.
- Exercise. One of the most important things to incorporate into a puffy pet’s life is exercise. Pets need and like attention, so exercise is a great way to give that to them. Your pet may not be a warrior when they start to exercise regularly; start out slowly and go for short ten minute walks or play with a toy for the same amount of time to reduce strain on joints and avoid taxing an overweight pet. While exercising with your pet, they may do something you want to reward them for. Refrain from giving your pet a treat; instead pet them and reward them with verbal reinforcement such as “good boy” or “good girl”. Excessive treats and goodies will squash all your weight management efforts. Allow your pet to rest when they seem sluggish, and give your pet plenty of water before and after exercise.
- Overall Health. Keeping your pet’s weight at an optimal level will reduce the risk of many diseases in the future. Your pet could be at risk for diabetes, thyroid problems and heart disease, among other serious conditions, due to poor nutrition and lack of exercise. You can protect your pet from these diseases by maintaining his weight and supporting a proper exercise regimen.
- Track Progress. Track your pet’s weight loss by weighing him or her regularly, and have your pet evaluated regularly by his or her vet to rule out any health problems. Keep your pet’s diet low in salt, fats and preservatives to achieve the most favorable results in your pet’s health.
Remember, your pet doesn’t have a fast-food joint at their convenience to buy unhealthy food; you control what they eat. By being committed to your pet’s health, you will soon see a difference in your pet’s well-being.
SlenderPet™ Promotes healthy metabolism and efficient digestion for a healthy, normal body weight