Do you need help managing your pet’s weight? Just like people, our pets can be susceptible to packing on a few extra pounds. And, just like people, when this happens it can be time to jump start a diet and get on the fast track to better health. Having an animal that is overweight can lead to serious health problems down the road such as high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, and unnecessary wear and tear on your pet’s joints. Below, we have listed just a few tips for helping your pet shed some of those extra pounds.
How To Help Your Pet Lose Weight
One of the easiest ways to help your pet lose some weight is to start using a measuring cup when dishing out your pet’s food. Many owners simply fill up the food bowl or take a guess at how much your pet should be eating. A study has shown that by eating just 10 extra tiny kibble pieces per meal, a cat or small dog could potentially gain up to one pound per year. The best way to figure out how much your pet should be eating is to calculate the needed calories per day and portion the food accordingly. To easily calculate how many calories your pet needs use the following formula. Take your pet’s weight and divide it by 2.2 Take this result and multiply it by 30. Add 70 to this number and you have you a good starting point for how many calories you should give to your animal.
Supplement your pet’s treat intake with healthy vegetables. Your pet will enjoy a special treat of baby carrots, celery, broccoli, cucumbers or even apple slices and ice cubes. These foods can be used in place of high calorie treats and are just as tasty for your pet.
Cut Back on Treats
The first step is to make sure you are only using treats to reward good behavior. Treats are an excellent tool to use for training, but do not be guilted into giving treats for things like leaving a pet alone. Another great tip is to divide treats up into smaller pieces. Your pet does not know the difference if you give him or her a quarter of a treat or the whole thing, so make each treat count. Further, it is important to buy high quality treats that are not packed full with carbohydrates and unnecessary sugars and fats. Too often, pet owners will select treats that are full of sugars, chemicals, and unnatural ingredients. Look for treats that only contain one ingredient like salmon or blueberries.
Just 20 to 30 minutes of exercise each day will help both your pet and yourself get healthier. For dogs, try a brisk walk to get moving and start burning some calories. Rain or shine, it is important to get outdoors for exercise. Not only will your pet burn calories, but his immune health and cardiovascular health will improve, and walking can help reduce behavior problems For cats, try 20 minutes of play with a laser pointer or a favorite toy. Getting your cat moving can help shed the extra pounds.
For more information on how you can help your pet lose weight, be sure to schedule an appointment with our professional staff at North Dallas Veterinarian Hospital. Our expert staff is eager and willing to get your pet on the fast track to health. Call (972) 620-9012 today to schedule an appointment!