Weight Control For Your Pet
Just as is the case with people, obesity is one of the most common medical issues for dogs and cats in the US. In fact, a number of recent studies show that as many as 40 percent of US pets are overweight and as much as 25 of these are technically considered obese. A pet that carries too much weight can eventually have the same problems that we see in humans like diabetes, arthritis, respiratory issues, and even heart disease. Not to mention the fact that they will have a higher risk of tearing ligaments and wearing down joints. No one wants to see their pet go through this, so we need to focus on methods that promote weight control for your pet.
Feeding Your Pet:
Obviously, the most important thing about feeding your pet is to ensure that their caloric intake is at the right level. If you are not sure how much your pet should be eating, then be sure to check with your veterinarian for specific guidance. If your pet is already overweight and they need to lose weight, you want to ensure that this is done gradually. Simply losing one to two percent weight loss per week is fine and even healthy.
The rules for this are pretty much what you might expect. First, give them less food overall. Part of the problem may be the type of food being used. Consider switching to dry food since this will have less calories. This switch could also be done gradually, even with a mixture of dry and canned food that eventually weans out all the wet (canned) food. Of course, your vet may prescribe a special diet. With dogs, make sure to give them a diet that is high in fiber and low in fat. Puppies should get extra protein, calcium, and iron (specially formulated for their developing bodies). With cats, you should focus on higher amounts of protein.
Using Natural Food:
Another thing that can help to better control your pets’ weight is to use all-natural food. This way, you can be sure that they get the proper ingredient and nutritional mix. These types of products use high-quality ingredients without fillers of by-products. Most will also make sure not to use any kind of unnecessary chemicals.
The results of this type of diet can be quite spectacular. Many owners report benefits like increased energy, shinier coats, and better overall health in addition to some lost weight. Just make sure to do your research and choose something appropriate for your pet.
The second part of the weight loss or weight control equation is getting your pet to move more often. This means helping them to actually exercise. A lot of overweight and obese pets tend to just sit still and quietly or lie on the bed or floor. Start by just getting them up and walking them around a bit. On the other hand, if your pet is already in the habit of going for daily walks, simply work on increasing the time by an extra minute each day. Shoot for 30 minutes of walking or exercise per day.
You could also even teach a dog to use a treadmill. With cats, place their food bowls up high or behind some type of barrier, making them work to get to it! Throw a ball or frisbee around a couple of times a week. Try placing their food bowl at the top or bottom of a staircase so that they have to move to get their food.
Written by Kira Garrett, marketing and PR specialist at Sojos.