A healthy pet is a happy pet, and a happy pet makes a happy home. Unfortunately, pet owners sometimes show their love for their companions by offering too many treats and snacks. It’s also easy to overfeed pets during mealtime if you don’t know how much food your pets actually need. These factors can cause pets to gain extra weight, which increases their risk for a myriad of health issues.
It is crucial that your pet maintains a balanced diet and the right amount of exercise to remain fit and healthy. Armed with the right information, you can develop a diet and exercise plan that works for you and your pet. Here are a few tips to help you keep your pet at a healthy weight.
Schedule Routine Vet Appointments
Regular vet visits are crucial for your pet to maintain a healthy weight. They give you a chance to monitor your pet’s progress. During these routine checkups, your veterinarian can advise you on how much weight your pet should gain or lose. You can also take this time to consult with the vet about nutrition and discuss possible diet plans. They can also advise you on starting a new diet or exercise routine for your pets.
Encourage Regular Exercise
It is important for your pet to stay active in order to maintain a healthy weight. Exercise is excellent for muscle tone, reducing boredom, and increasing metabolism. The amount and type of activity will depend on your pet’s age, health needs, and breed. Ensure that you add more exercises to your pet’s routine apart from walking them. Spend more time on fun activities like toys, playing fetch, obstacle courses, and other creative activities to keep pets moving and mentally stimulated. Regular exercise and games will help them stay more active and strengthen the bond you and your family have with your pets.
Practice Portion Control
It is also important to practice portion control by only feeding your pet the amount recommended by your chosen veterinarian and pet food brand. Portion control ensures that your pets only get the recommended serving size for their age and size, preventing overfeeding. Everyone in your household should be responsible for keeping your pets healthy and safe. Therefore, they should also take part in tracking the pet’s daily food intake to prevent overfeeding. Additionally, ensure that you give your pet food at designated times spread out throughout the day instead of leaving out food they can eat all day.
Offer Treats Mindfully
You may be tempted to give your pets extra treats even after they reach their daily caloric allowance. While this is okay from time to time, this is not a good idea to make a habit of it as the calories will gradually add up and lead to excessive weight gain. You should also ensure other family members do not sneak food and treats to pets. It is also important to ensure that you are not feeding your pets from table scraps high in calories or fat and to restrict their treat consumption to less than 10% of their daily consumption allowance.
Increasing your pet’s exercise and monitoring food intake are effective measures to help them keep a healthy weight. Always consult with your vet before changing your pet’s diet, and never put them on a sudden “crash” diet to quicken their weight loss process. You risk denying them the essential nutrients they need to stay healthy and active.
When people are trying to manage their weight, they often find a food diary helpful, and you can do the same for your pet. A food diary will help you notice cases of overfeeding or underfeeding and ensure your pet gets the recommended amount of calories daily. Keeping all these tips in mind will help your pets maintain a healthy weight and support their overall quality of life.