We’ve rang in 2016 and declared our resolutions. Most of us have made resolutions to get in shape, but what about your pet? Just like people, pets can get in a comfort zone and gain weight. Some breeds of dogs are more prone to obesity than others and cats can get lazy. If you are starting to see weight gain, here are a few things you can do to combat the extra weight:
- Check their weight – Your pets can be weighed at the vet or at home by stepping on a scale by yourself, and then again with your dog or cat and calculate the difference. Ask us what the ideal weight for your pet should be and then aim to stay within 5 pounds of that range.
- Give them nutritious pet food – The type of food you are feeding can make all the difference. Certain pet foods contain fillers that are harmful to your pet. We recommend sticking with pet foods that comes from a reputable company who puts a lot of research into their products, such as Science Diet, Royal Canin or Purina.
- Portion control – Knowing how much food you should give your dog or cat each day to assist in weight loss is key. If you aren’t sure, again, contact us. Find out if you are feeding your dogs correctly with this helpful quiz from webmd. With cats, we generally find that their food is being left out for them to graze. They should be put on a feeding schedule. Learn more about portion control and the amount of food your cat should be eating here.
- Watch their snacking – Along with regular feeding, we love to sneak our pets bites of our human food or give them an extra treat for being a good dog/cat. Handing out treats is a great way to encourage good behaviour, but keep in mind your pet’s daily calorie intake. Treats can be given, but add them into your dog or cat’s recommended daily calorie intake.
- Exercise – Our pets also need exercise in their day. If your resolution was to get in shape, take your dog for a run or play fetch. Running stairs is great exercise for you and your pup. If you have a cat, take time out of your day to play with your cat and get them moving. Laser toys are a great way to get your cat chasing around the infamous red dot.
These are more than a simple resolution, they are a lifestyle change for your pet. Once your pets get used to their new routine, they will be back to normal. We can’t guarantee they will stop begging for more snacks, but they will be happy and healthier.
Here’s to happy and healthy pets in 2016!