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Tip of the Month

6/25/2010 Over weight Pets Part III - Does this leash make me look fat?

Losing weight is tough for both the two legged caretakers and four legged pets. Being cute and cuddly may not have anything to do with the amount of fur our pets have. It is not a matter of if an obese pet will develop a serious, secondary medical condition but rather when.

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, our dogs or cats can tug on our heart strings. The sad eyes at dinner time, the paw on the leg as you enjoy a steak dinner as their dry kibble sits untouched in the kitchen, the rolling on the back begging for attention is enough to melt even the most stern resolve. Face it: our pets have us well trained.

To help with your pet weight loss program, try these few tips;

- Give some veggies as a snack rather than a bite of chicken or just a little more kibble in their bowl. Pets actually like vegetables such as carrots, peas or celery.
- Give smaller meals more often, especially at the end of the day.
- If your dog is begging and the food bowl is empty, take them for a walk or outside to play. Sometimes all they really want is attention and a walk, throwing a Frisbee or bouncing a ball is a distraction.
- Don’t free feed. Any pet will eat out of boredom or just because it’s there.
- Make them work for their meal. Put the bowl of food upstairs so your pet has to walk up the stairs to eat.
- If you live in a multi-pet household, separate the pet that is on the diet away from the other animals.
- Make sure there is plenty of fresh water to drink.
- Be sure to check how many calories those treats contain. Even a few too many will keep the pounds packed on.
- No adding leftovers – human food is loaded with fat, sodium and calories.
- Kitties can pack on the pounds too. Even a string dragged across the floor will peak enough interest for them to run and chase. Laser lights or a cat nip ball can bring out the kitten in them.

Check with your veterinarian or the veterinary assistant with other ways to sneak the pounds of your pet. Remember, it’s up to us to keep our pets healthy and happy for a longer and more enjoyable life.

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