Our furry friends seem to enjoy snacks and delicious foods just as much as we do! However, as most individuals can regulate the amount of food they consume or select what foods to eat, pets often rely on their owners to make these important decisions for them. A 2018 survey from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) found that about 60% of cats and 56% of dogs were overweight or even obese when the survey was conducted.

As tempting as it is to reward your pet with tons of treats, sneaking them leftovers underneath the table or allowing them to skip walks when they’re tired, these things are harming your pet. Get your furry loved one back on track to a healthy weight with the helpful tips in this article.

1. Leave “People Food” To The People

You can’t blame your pet for wanting a taste of the delicious meal you whipped up. As much as they beg for a taste, ensure you keep your meal on your plate and away from their mouths. Giving your pet “people food” may seem relatively harmless, however, it can have a detrimental impact on the overall health of your lovable animal. For example, if you feed one ounce of cheese to your 12-pound cat, that’s equivalent to you eating 3 and ½ hamburgers. That seems unhealthy, right?

2. Reduce Food Portions

You don’t necessarily have to change your pet’s diet all at once. Instead, start cutting back on their meal portions by about five percent. This small reduction would likely come to about one ounce per pound. While doing this, keep track of your pet’s weight journey by weighing them today prior to the food change and then again in one or two weeks. If your pet doesn’t drop the weight on this regimen, try reducing the portions by another five percent until you begin to see changes to their weight. Feeding your pet smaller portions will also likely reduce their hunger frequency. Try replacing dry food with wet, canned food that’s high in protein so your animal looks forward to their meals.

3. Make Activities/Exercise The Reward

If you’re working hard to have your pet lose weight by reducing their food portions only to fill them up on treats, your actions could be counterproductive. It’s no doubt that your pet deserves endless treats, but there are other ways to reward them for their good behaviour. Avoid giving your pet a treat unless they absolutely deserve it or make use of reward alternatives. Try offering them a fun game of fetch, a nice belly rub, or a long walk. 

You don’t have to struggle with your pet’s weight loss journey alone. Aquitaine Vet is your animal hospital in Mississauga for comprehensive pet care and education. Our vet clinic offers nutrition counselling and wellness programs to help get your pet back on track. Schedule an appointment with us at https://aquitainevet.com/contact/.

Related: The Importance of Pet Nutrition.