Managing your pet’s weight
Managing your pet’s weight is challenging because pets love yummy food (Sunday leftovers, anyone?) just as much as humans do. Plus, when it comes to pups and kittens, managing weight is not a priority. So, what happens? We forget to keep them at a healthy weight while they grow up. But, proper diet is critical at all stages of life, and it is never too soon to start thinking about healthy nutrition.
Why managing your pet’s weight is important
Obesity in pets is linked to multiple health conditions, including:
- Heart disease
- Decreased liver function
- Joint and mobility decline
- Acute/Chronic pancreatitis (where a fatty diet is the culprit)
It is also worthwhile remembering that obese animals are at higher risk when receiving anesthetic during surgery.
My pet just loves human food, what now?
Not all human food is good for your pet, however, there are healthy options, if you insist. Managing your pet’s weight is easy with these ‘table’ foods.
Cats receive good nutrition from foods like:
- Whole grains
Dogs are allowed to eat:
- Chicken (plain, boiled without the skin)
- White Rice
Managing your pet’s weight with healthy treats
As a pet parent you can successfully manage your pet’s weight, even when adding treats to the diet. Healthy treats can be made at home or purchased online. For pets that are obese, choose a low fat treat, and, offer it in moderation.
Why a veterinarian diet is mostly recommended to manage your pet’s weight
Dog and cat food, whether a prescription diet or not, is filled with various nutrients and antioxidants. Royal Canin, for example, is a highly valued pet food which has a specially developed range for weight management. The brand offers both prescription and regular diet options that ensure your pet is receiving all the necessary nutrients for their stage and phase of life.
If managing your pet’s weight still remains challenging even with proper diet, consider:
- Am I feeding too much? What is the recommended daily intake?
- Are too many treats being offered?
- Is the food possibly too fatty?
- Is this the right type of food for my pet?
Veterinarian guidance on food and weight management is highly advised because this will ensure that your pet is receiving an adequate, nutrient rich diet. Similarly, getting your pet moving through play or walks, in addition to having discipline as a pet parent, is the first step in adequate managing of your pet’s weight. However, diet may possibly not be the culprit for your pet’s weight gain. Should this be the case, consider seeking veterinary advice and intervention.