Nearly half of all pets are overweight! Is your dog or cat a little pudgy around the edges? It’s up to you to return them to a healthy size—use these tips from a Portland, OR veterinarian.
First things first: pay a visit to your vet’s office to have your pet examined professionally. Your veterinarian can evaluate the problem and work with you to set up a diet and exercise plan. This way, your pet will be able to lose weight safely. (It can actually be harmful for a pet to drop too much weight too quickly!)
In many cases, simply controlling your pet’s portion size is an effective way to help them lose weight and keep them at a healthy size. Overfeeding is a leading cause of overweight pets! Consult the packaging of your pet’s food, or ask your veterinarian, to find out about a proper portion size for your animal friend’s breed and size.
It’s possible that your pet will have to be fed a new diet entirely. When your pet receives a “budget” food full of a lot of filler material, they’re only getting empty calories and no real nutritional value. Switching them to a premium pet food with the right balance of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, and other nutrients can help to manage their weight and keep them healthy in the long-term. For a recommendation on a high-quality diet for your pet’s needs, contact your vet.
What diet plan is complete without regular exercise? In fact, many overweight pets simply need daily exercise in order to shed a few pounds, without any change in diet at all. Your veterinarian can recommend the best ways for your animal companion to lose weight—most pets start losing extra pounds immediately via regular walks through the neighborhood, runs in the backyard, and play sessions on the living room floor.
Do you or members of your family slip your dog or cat a lot of fatty table scraps? The occasional indulgence shouldn’t cause a problem, but overdoing it is a fast track toward obesity. Also beware of your pet-treat allotment; use treats as rewards for good behavior or as training tools, because doling out too many is just providing empty calories.
Ready to help your pet return to a healthy weight? Schedule an appointment with your Portland, OR animal hospital.