News Year’s Resolution for your pet – Healthy weight loss

A healthy body weight is very important for your pet’s overall health. Making sure that your pet is of the ideal body weight is healthier for their heart, their joints, and their overall demeanor.

Is your pet a little round or enjoy his/her treats a little too much? Maybe you aren’t sure. Below is a little diagram outlining body condition score. Take a look and see if your pet may be in need of a little diet and exercise…

Did you look? Did you come up with a body condition score of 6-9? If you did, then I have some tips for you on how to achieve healthy weight loss for your furbaby! A healthy weight is vital for good health and will increase the lifespan of your precious family member. Here are some tips for gradual and healthy weight loss:

  • Switch to low calorie treats or eliminate treats all together. Some examples of low calorie treats are carrots, ice cubes, and low calorie dog biscuits. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “But Fluffy loves his treats. He gives me the cutest little look.” I know exactly what you’re talking about, and it is extremely hard and I know you feel bad. However, it will be so much better for your baby. Cutting treats back or eliminating them from the diet can greatly reduce the amount of calories your pet is consuming.
  • Decrease the amount of food being fed by 10% increments. Start by feeding 10% less than normal. Feed this amount for 3 weeks and monitor body weight. If we have made great progress and we are now of a healthy body weight, fantastic! If we still have some more to go, then cut back by 10% more. Continue this until you have achieved an ideal body weight.
  • If cutting back the volume of food isn’t doing the trick, then consider an over-the-counter weight loss diet. Please keep in mind, a lot of these diets still have excess calorie content and you will need to compare the amount of calories your pet has been eating to the amount of calories of the new food.
  • If an over-the-counter food is not working, then consider a prescription weight loss food. These foods tend to be more restrictive in calories as well as have a higher fiber content. With a higher fiber content, our furbabies feel more full, but will not be able to digest the fiber, therefore, there will be more intensive calorie restriction.
  • Lastly, increase exercise. Start playing ball, going for walks, sign up for an agility course, etc. Not only will you be helping your family member lose weight, but it could be fun for you both!