It’s very easy to shower the pets we love with treats and extra food so it’s no wonder that in the 2012 National Pet Obesity Survey over half of all pet dogs and cats in the US were classed as overweight.
Obesity in pets is a serious issue that should not be ignored. Not only is it unhealthy for your pet but can also be unhealthy for your wallet, costing you a fortune in vets bills and fees for treatment used for combating and fixing problems attributed to excess weight.
Long-term health issues can arise from an overweight dog that can plague your pet in its later years.
There are several things you can do to bring your pet back into the healthy zone of weight and a pet diet is similar in principle as any human weight loss based diet – Diet & Exercise.
Here’s some things that you can do to get your pet fit again.
Exercise, Exercise, Exercise.
For an overweight dog, taking your dog out for two walks, once in the morning and once in the evening is better than one long walk as your dog will have had time to rest and should be able to cope with two without becoming fatigued and unwilling to finish the rest of the long route.
Keep up games of play in the house and encourage your dog to move around as much as possible.
Examine the portion sizes you are giving your dog, there’s a good chance he’s being overfed. For a small dog, a small cupful of dry biscuits is often a suitable amount for a meal.
Some pet stores, or even your Vet may carry measuring cups to help you measure portions to suit the need of your dog. Taking your dog to the Vet and getting them to weigh and help you set a diet plan for your dog is a good place to start. They can also advise you correct portion sizes.
It’s possible that a lack of communication in the home could be causing several family members to feed the dog several meals during the day. Good communication is key in the home, make everyone aware of when you have just fed the dog and, if possible, write up a chart and stick to it.
No more treats!
Let’s be honest, you’re probably giving too many treats too. For now on, while you are following a diet plan for your pet, cut out any treats or table scraps. Ignore your dogs pining attempts for extra food and be firm. Remember, you’re providing him with more love by being strict with him than causing him harm through excessive weight gain.
Dieting for people can be tough, dieting for pets can be just as difficult. It’s hard to ignore the puppy eyes and not to give in to offering treats. The difference you’ll notice in your pet’s behaviour and energy levels in just a few months will make the diet worth your while.