While a few pounds may not mean much to a human, they can make a big difference in the health of your pet. A dog five pounds above their ideal weight can develop serious medical conditions, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer – and it only takes two pounds of extra weight for a cat to develop these conditions. Almost 53 percent of dogs and 58 percent of cats in the U.S. are overweight. Work with Powell Veterinary Service to help your pet lose weight for a longer, healthier life together!
The first step to help your pet lose weight is to talk to your vet. Have your pet weighed and discuss changing your pet’s food or cutting back on the amount you give them. We recommend a diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates. When reducing the amount or type of food, cut back slowly to avoid a change in your pet’s metabolism.
Depending on how much weight your pet has to lose, it can take some time. Monitor weight loss by stopping in at Powell Veterinary Service for monthly weigh-ins. A great way to help your furry friend lose weight, and improve their overall health, is to cut back on treats and cut table scraps out of their diet. Crunchy veggies like baby carrots and celery are a low-calorie substitute for your dog.
Daily exercise in another key component to pet weight loss and going for a walk or swim together is great exercise for you too. Try taking your pooch to the dog park to make exercising a fun reward. Cats are a little more difficult to get motivated, so be sure to set aside a half hour a day to play.
In multi-pet households, weight loss can be more difficult. To prevent the sharing of food, be sure to feed your animals separately and do not leave food out throughout the day. If you notice your pets eying their empty food bowl between meals, offer them fresh water instead.