Being overweight can knock years off your pet’s life unnecessarily and is a sure sign they aren’t in the best of health. Your pet relies on you to provide them with their daily intake of food and ensure they get enough exercise, so it’s also up to you to make changes to your pet’s diet and exercise routine if they have started to ‘spread out’.
Below are our top tips on how to manage your pet’s weight problem. Firstly, we recommend bringing your pet in to get their current weight recorded so you can monitor improvements. Pop into one of our practices today and get your pet weighed for free.
Top tips for helping your pet slim down
- Cut down on treats or swap them for an alternative, healthier option i.e. some dogs actually like carrot sticks and other fruits and vegetables (check online to see if they are safe for pets first), moderation is still important though. Can you cut out treats altogether whilst your pet needs to lose weight?
- Avoid human foods, especially those that are high in fat and sugar; your pet is not built for digesting these types of foods and too much can pile on the pounds.
- Swap your pet to a low-calorie food to help with weight loss.
- Weigh your pet’s food portions, it can be easy to regularly overfeed them by guessing.
- Take into consideration your pet’s activity levels when following the food packet’s instructions i.e. a 10kg lap dog does not need the same amount of food as a 10kg dog that has two hours off-the-lead exercise each day.
- Similarly, a house cat is likely to need less food than one that roams outdoors a lot.
- Age also plays a part i.e. senior dogs have different needs to puppies when it comes to food, they need fewer calories as they’ve done all the growing they need to do, and probably need softer food to help their ageing teeth and gums.
- Even though it’s tempting to stay wrapped up indoors, it’s important not to reduce your pet’s exercise in the cold and wet weather.
- Dogs need at least one walk a day and time off the lead if it’s safe to do so. It can be nicer for you and your pet to do more frequent, shorter walks instead of one long one, and this can help towards their weight loss goals.
- Cats can be encouraged to play games using fishing-rod type toys to keep them active and help them lose weight.
- Rabbits and small furries also need plenty of exercise. Ensure small pets have toys and activities to keep them moving inside their hut or cage, and that you have an area inside your home or in your garden where your pet will be safe from hazards and predators and can run or hop about to get some exercise.
Losing weight is easier if you have support, so why not book a FREE Weight & Diet Consultation and see how we can help you manage your pet’s weight loss.
If you are unsure about how to put any of the tips in this article into practice with your pet, contact our friendly team for advice.