Pet obesity can be caused by a range of factors including over feeding, insufficient exercise, too many treats and hypothyroidism (a medical condition caused by the malfunction of the thyroid gland found in the neck region). Take a look at our recommendations below on how to manage your pet’s weight.
Work with your veterinarian
Consult your vet for a professional and honest assessment of your pet’s health and weight. This will identify any underlying medical conditions that could be the cause of weight gain or loss. Your vet will also be able to discuss the best choice of food for your pet and work out a weight management plan based on their individual needs.
Make a family commitment
Managing a healthy weight for your pet requires an ongoing commitment from your whole family. Without everyone in the household onboard with your pet’s weight management plan, it can easily become undone. For example, if family members secretly sneak your pet extra treats, they won’t be on track with their weight management plan.
How do I maintain my pet’s weight?
The most effective way to help your pet maintain a healthy weight is by managing positive eating habits and exercise routine. Here are some ways in which you can help them achieve a healthy lifestyle:
We know it’s easier said than done, but don’t give in to begging. Limit the amount of treats you give your pet and don’t give them table scraps no matter how much they beg you! We know it can be hard not to give in to begging, so one way you can you give your pet something to eat when they beg is by giving them food taken from their daily allowance. Another way you can prevent your pet from begging is by reducing their munchies and dividing their daily meals into smaller portions to eat throughout the day.
Another way you can help your pet maintain positive eating habits is by getting them to work for their food. To help your pet feel satisfied with the amount of food they’ve been given, try using feeders that release food in small amounts and slow down eating. These could be puzzles feeders, Kongs or mats which they need lick or scoop out their food. Remember to keep the amount of food you put inside a feeder within your pet’s daily limit.
This might be obvious, but walking is a great addition to a weight loss plan. Try walking your dog more frequently or increase the amount of time you usually spend on walks. As for cats, it’s possible to train some cats to accept wearing a harness and go for walks. However, if your cat is more of a homebody try having regular playtime together. In conjunction with a healthy diet, playing with your cat is a great way to increase their movement and reduce the likelihood of them gaining weight.
For more ideas on how to maintain positive eating habits, visit our blog.