Pet obesity in the US is a big problem (no pun intended)! It is estimated that over 56% of dogs and 60% of cats in the US are considered overweight or obese (Pet Obesity Prevention). And much like in humans, obesity in pets leads to health conditions that affect the entire body -- from cardiovascular to joint issues -- it is important to keep a healthy weight! Once you have established that your pet's weight issues are not connected to a health issues, consider implementing some changes to help your pet find a healthier life! Here are some tips for helping your pet shed unwanted weight once and for all:
1. Feed twice daily instead of allowing your pet to graze throughout the day. This manages metabolism as well as keeps your pet from overeating. One extra benefit is that it can also help with potty training and avoiding accidents throughout the day as their potty habits will become more predictable if you keep your pets on a routine feeding schedule.
2. Use a measuring device (measuring scoop or cup that has marked exact amount) to make sure you are feeding the right amount of pet food for your sized pet. This is a common innocent mistake causing excessive pet weight gain. An extra tablespoon of pet food equals more calories and fat that can easily lead to extra pounds packed on over the course of the days, weeks, and months. So exact measuring is very important!
3. Feeding guidelines on pet food are just that -- guidelines! The amount of calories your pet will need will depend greatly upon your pet. If you notice your pet is gaining too much weight or losing weight, do not be afraid to adjust their feeding amount up or down depending upon their needs! Weight loss pet foods do have their place however we highly recommend decreasing feeding amount before transitioning to a weight loss food. Further tips and tricks are listed below for additional ideas on how to decrease calories and fat -- while still filling your pet's tummy (no one likes a beggar)!
4. Consider how you feed your pet! Feeding mats, treat dispensing toys and slow feeders can help slow down the feeding process so that your pet does not eat their meals all in one gulp! Feeding time for your pet should be fun so find ways they can enjoy it!
5. Treats count towards overall intake of fat and calories. Wouldn't it be nice if those bon-bons and chips we snack on throughout the day weren't a lifetime on the hips? Consider lower calorie treats if your pets are accustomed to treats for going potty outside or at certain times of the day. Fresh fruits and veggies work very well for this purpose! Also consider any additional
6. Exercise is beneficial for us all! Even if you have a senior pet that is more sluggish, a simple walk around the back yard or around the block can help burn extra calories. There are so many more benefits to exercise for your pet AND for you! Find some time to work in some extra exercise or play throughout the day!
Tips and Tricks:
The Green Bean Diet is a very popular way to help your pet shed unwanted pounds while still satisfying their desire for a full belly! It simply works by removing up to 25% of the pet food with green beans per meal which will help add fiber without the fat and calories of the pet food. Once your pet has shed the excess weight we recommend adding back in their pet food!
Pumpkin as a weight loss tool is another powerful way to help your pet shed unwanted weight while still allowing your pet to fill full! We love Fruitables Weightloss Supplement and it can be found in our canned section -- and used for both cats and dogs!
Don't forget to weigh your pet routinely as you start their weight loss journey to make sure that they do not drop weight too fast and to find their ideal weight! If you are in need of a pet scale -- feel free to hop by our store. We have a scale you are welcome to use!