Include Your Pets in Healthy Weight Resolutions this Year
Unleashed by Petco creates awareness for healthy pets with their in-store weigh-in challenge
Nearly half of all Americans make New Year’s resolutions and of those, almost 40 percent are related to weight loss. This year, spice up that routine and include pets in a weight management program to ensure they’re at a healthy, optimum weight. One type of tool veterinarians use to rate the body condition of dogs and cats is a scale one to nine, with a healthy pet being in the four to five range. When a pet is at a healthy weight, a pet parent should be able to feel the ribs, but not see them.
- Before starting a weight loss program, visit a veterinarian to find out a pet’s ideal weight. Major weight fluctuations could indicate there may be an underlying health issue.
- Pet parents are usually unaware that their pets’ food portion sizes are too large so portion control is key. When feeding pets, create markings on the cup or scoop, especially if children are feeding pets so everyone knows the correct serving size.
- Break down meals into two to four small portions throughout the day to trick pets into feeling like they’re eating more.
- Serve high protein and low fat food to keep pets full, and remember treats should be no more than 10 percent of caloric intake.
- Pets should exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Although walks can be good for both pet and pet parents, home exercise techniques are great for days when lengthy walks outdoors are not an option. Coaching dogs to do doggy push-ups by asking them to “sit”, “lay down” and “sit” again can keep them just as active. Inviting another pet parent and their pet for some play time in the backyard is another great option for keeping pets active.
- Keep an eye on pets’ behavior when on a weight loss program. If they feel hungry, it can result in abnormal eating habits, such as digging in trashcans or eating backyard plants. Behavior awareness will help pet parents evaluate the program and make necessary changes.