According to the 2017 State of Pet Health report by Banfield Pet hospital, one in three US pets is overweight or obese. Pet obesity has become a worldwide issue in recent years. Not only excess weight decreases the overall lifespan of our pets, it also leads to a series of health issues like heart disease, cancer and diabetes. So, how can you get overweight pets in shape again? Here are several tips for you.
1. Control Food Portion
One of the most effective yet simple way to reduce your pet’s weight is to control the amount of food you give to your pet. Note that feeding less does not mean starvation or deprivation. Your dog or cat eating less than usual will still get enough food to remain healthy. If your are not sure how much food you should feed your dog or cat, consult your vet.
2. Cut Back on Snack and Treats
Many pet owners feed the proper amount of food, but tend to give too much snacks or treats without even noticing. Be mindful that snacks and treats contribute calories too. To lose weight effectively, you have to cut back on the snacks and treats or you can resort to give extremely low calorie snacks or treats like fruits and vegetables such as crunchy carrots, grean beans, banana slices, celery and etc.
3. Incorporate Wholesome Food
Food choices also play a crucial role in helping your pet lose weight. You should add more veggies such as pumpkin or lean meats like fish and chicken in your pet’s diet. In this way, your pet will get the proteins and other nutrients it needs and at the same time limit the calories intake.
4. Additional Supplements
The fourth way is to provide additional supplement to aid in weight loss. Human, cat or dog can benefit from taking Omega-3 fatty acid as supplements. Not only does Omega-3 fatty acid promote body immune system, it also helps to ease joints pain and perhaps encourage weight loss.
5. High Quality Pet Food
Many pet companies include many cheap ingredients such as fillers in their pet food. These fillers offer little or no nutritional value to your pet. It is rational to switch to high quality pet food with more good food like protein and vegetable, and less fattening agents.
6. Stick to a Feeding Schedule
Do not practice free feeding where you leave a plenty amount food for your dog or cat and let it eat as much as it can. This is certainly not a good practice. Your pets tend to overeat. Thus, you should have a carefully planned feeding schedule instead.
Humans need to exercise to stay healthy. Pets also need enough exercise to stay healthy, especially when they are overweight. Walking is a simple exercise for your dog. Just half an hour of daily walking is enough to help your dog burn calories. If you don’t have time to walk your dog, you can hire a dog walker. For senior or heavier dogs with joints problem, swimming is a great exercise.
Hire a dog walker
8. Consult a Veterinarian
In some cases, medication might be the key to lose weight . Some dogs or cats suffer from obesity due to genetics factor. If that is the case, exercise and dieting can’t help them to lose weight. The only way to solve this is to seek helps from veterinarian.
The tricks are simple: feed less, healthy diet food and exercise. Remember pet obesity is not the pet’s problem, but the owner’ responsiblity. By applying eight ways mentioned above, you can get your pet back in shape in no time.