Seasonal Weight Gain For Pets Is Serious Business. Most of us are familiar with the holiday tendency to add a few extra pounds. But where people have the option to go to the gym, pets do not.
Take These Steps to Get Started
Consider these other steps you can take to help your pet shed those holiday pounds:
Check in with your veterinarian for advice and to make sure your pet is healthy before starting out. In cats, particularly, rapid weight loss can trigger serious health problems. For other pets, making sure your pet is healthy before changing up diet and exercise should come first. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations on the best foods for your pet, and minimize the use of treats
Limit the number of treats you are giving your pet, both pet treats and bits of “people food.” While it’s OK to share baby carrots, mini rice cakes, green beans and other healthy foods in small amounts, pet parents tend to lose count of how much they’re giving their pets.
Step up the exercise
Longer walks or play times will be good exercise for both of you. If you live in a cold climate, there might be an indoor facility that will let you walk your dog.
These steps may help you lose some unwanted holiday pounds, too.
Check with your veterinarian to see if a “diet” food would be useful
It can be easier to reduce the volume of regular food or replace it with green beans, especially for dogs. This is a weight-loss tip veterinarians have been offering for years – and it works.
If you go the “diet food” route, it’s important to make food changes gradually. Provide your pet’s daily food portion as 75% of the old food and 25% of the new formula on the first day. For day two, try a 50-50 ratio. Then, proceed to a 25-75 split. On day four, go to 100 percent of the new low-fat food.
Instead of treats for praise, try play
Some pets are just as motivated by toys or praise as they are by food. If your pets is one of them, make the switch. For others, food is the best way to reward good behavior. Your dog can count, but he/she can’t measure: try breaking treats into the tiniest possible pieces, or buy tiny treats to begin with.
Set a reasonable goal with your pet’s veterinarian
Your veterinarian will be happy to help, with regular weigh-ins and other advice to keep you on track, motivated and focused… you might lose some of that holiday weight, too!
Get more helpful pet tips from Nationwide, a UHD Work/Life vendor, at petinsurance.com/you andpetsathome.