Three Steps for Keeping Healthy Weight for Pets
By Dr. Becker and Diane Weinmann
As you know your pets can become overweight (like most of us, me especially) or can be difficult to keep weight on in their “golden” years. It is very hard to maintain a perfect weight for your pet.
Here are three necessary steps to keeping your pet at a healthy weight and in good physical condition:
- Feed a balanced, species-appropriate diet. Be aware that many low-calorie or “diet” pet foods are filled with grains that may add to your pet’s weight problem. A high-quality raw food diet is an excellent choice for most pets in need of weight loss. I personally prefer grain free because it is best for dogs that have allergies.
- Practice portion control. Make sure that if you feed a morning and evening meal that it is carefully measured. A high-protein, low-carb diet with the right amount of calories for weight loss, controlled through the portions you feed, is what will take the weight off your dog or cat. And don’t forget to factor in any calories from treats as these can really add up. Provide treats that are low in calories like fresh vegetables and fruit making sure to not feed raisins, grapes, onions or chocolate to your pets. You can give frozen beef, chicken or tuna broth in ice cube trays for a healthy snack to your pet.
- Regularly exercise your pet. Daily exercise, including at least 20 minutes of consistent aerobic activity, will help your pet burn fat and increase muscle tone. If you’re unable to provide your pet with this level of exercise (and some pets may need even more), you might consider joining a pet sports club or at least a doggy daycare that gets your pet moving. Another option is to hire a dog walker (or a cat walker). I recommend JoyCares Personalized Pet Service for your pet walking needs. They are a great home-grown business that has consistently won awards for their service. Call 216-281-8701 if you are located in the greater Cleveland OH area. For cats chasing a flashlight, laser, string with toy attached or feather is great exercise. If you dog is a hard core “fetcher” you can just play ball and watch the pounds drop off.
- Don’t forget, what is good for the goose is good for the gander– so to speak! As your pet is dieting or eating right, getting the appropriate amount of exercise and maintaining wellness so will you if you participate in their endeavor!