By maintaining a healthy weight, your pet will realize countless benefits: more energy and vitality, less strain on bones and joints, greater heart health, less risk of diabetes, greater longevity, and more. In fact, a recent study found that the lifespan of overweight pets is up to 2 1/2 years shorter, on average, than those of a healthy weight! Here are some pet weight loss suggestions to get you started!
- Please feed treats in moderation. Use low-calorie treats (available at pet stores) or healthy alternatives (baby carrots, frozen mixed veggies, plain mini rice cakes) as discussed. Also remember that most of the time, the size/quantity of the treats doesn’t matter to your pet, so consider giving half (or less!) of what you currently give.
- Make sure that your pet has no surprising sources of food! Examples of culprits from previous patients have included other pet’s food, animal feed outside, neighbors, and well-meaning children or other relatives.
- Exercise and increased activity really help with weight loss and are fun! Please keep your pet as active as possible given his or her age and general health status. Try new activities such as a different route on walks, a new park, swimming, a new game or toy (tennis, frisbee, agility, etc.), and so on. If getting out is hard to fit into your schedule, you might even consider hiring a dog walker or enrolling in a local “doggie day care” program. For cats, try interactive cat toys or toys containing food or catnip—get creative with what motivates your cat!
- Regular weigh-ins are essential to monitoring your pet’s progress. Please weigh him or her every two months. As a courtesy, you may use our scale at any time during regular business hours (free of charge) with no appointment required. We can then chart the weight and make adjustments to your pet’s weight loss program as needed.
Please contact us at any time if you have questions or concerns about your pet’s weight loss plan. Once your hard work has paid off and your pet reaches his or her target weight, we can help establish a weight maintenance plan to keep the weight off. Your pet will thank you and you'll win by having your companion around, living life to the fullest!