Is your pet starting to look a little pudgy? Nearly half of all domesticated dogs and cats are overweight! If you think your furry companion is starting to get too heavy, it’s time to act. Use these tips from your McHenry, IL veterinarian to help your pet slim down.
See Your Vet
First, schedule an appointment at your vet’s office to have your pet examined. That way, you’ll know for sure whether or not your pet is overweight, and you’ll be able to work together with your veterinarian to come up with solutions. Some pets need a tailored diet-and-exercise plan put in place to combat obesity—your vet will fill you in on the details.
Serving Size Adjustment
Overfeeding is one of the leading causes of obesity in pets. Free-feeding is also a problem, which involves leaving food out at all times for a pet to munch on as they please. Often, a simple adjustment in serving size and/or mealtime scheduling is all that’s needed to help a pet slim down! Ask your vet about an appropriate portion size for your pet, and try removing food—even if it’s uneaten—about 20 minutes or so after presenting it to your pet.
Is your pet eating a “budget” food with a lot of empty calories? This isn’t helping his weight gain. It’s time for your four-legged friend to get a diet upgrade! Ask your vet to recommend an age-appropriate diet that suits your pet’s size and breed. When your companion starts receiving the proper nutrients in the right amounts, he’ll be healthier and have an easier time losing that excess weight.
No dieting plan is complete without regular exercise. If your pet is to lose weight, he’ll have to start getting physical activity on a daily basis! Take your pet on brisk walks through the neighborhood, jog around in the backyard, or have play sessions with a favorite toy in the comfort of your home. These measures will start to burn off excess calories and get your pet back to a healthy weight in no time.
Limit Table Scraps
Don’t give your pet a lot of fatty table scraps at the dinner table, and don’t overdo it when feeding your pet their regular treats. This is only contributing to obesity!