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Posted on 01-04-2016

Ways to Combat Pet Obesity in the New Year

There is no better time than now to tackle your pet’s growing waistline. We all love our pets so much that it is easy to want to love them with treats. There are few things they enjoy more than food, right? Here are a few simple strategies to help get your pets weight back on track.

  • Stop free feeding. It may seem easier to keep an always full bowl of food available, but this can lead to some very obese pets. It is better to work with your veterinarian to determine an appropriate amount to feed daily and place this amount in their bowl.
  • Watch the treats. Just like us, too many treats can add unwanted calories quickly. Instead of feeding a doggy treat every time your pet needs a reward, you can do one of these alternatives: Praise with love instead of food, use your pet’s kibble as a mini treat (just one or two is enough to feel rewarded), or switch to carrot pieces (or other vegetables).
  • Read labels. You may not realize it, but many pet foods can be quite high in calories. Your veterinarian can help you determine an ideal amount of calories to be consumed daily, and based on this guideline you can use the nutrition label on your pets food to determine how many cups or cans he/she will require daily.
  • Keep an eye on the scale. Once we have a weight loss goal, the best way to measure results will be with the scale. Many veterinarians offer complimentary weigh ins to help you determine if your weight loss efforts are effective. If the weight isn’t coming off, your vet may recommend a more stringent prescriptive weight loss food formulated for pets that have a harder time shedding the excess weight.
  • Talk to your vet. It is important to talk to your vet about other factors that may be playing a role in your pet’s difficult weight loss. Your vet can help determine if you may still be over feeding, any medical conditions that may be involved, and help determine safe and effective exercise. Vets are a wealth of information and always happy to help in this journey. 

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