Managing your cat or dog’s weight is critically important to your pet’s quality of life. A healthy weight will help your pet to be alert and energetic every day. Avoiding excess weight will reduce the chances of developing serious health conditions like diabetes, arthritis or heart disease.
So how do you keep your pet at a healthy weight? It is easier than it may seem. It starts by adopting the eight healthy habits below:
An estimated 33% of cats and dogs are either overweight or obese, but most pet owners fail to recognise the problem. It is important to know exactly how much your pet weighs and to ask your vet about an ideal weight. Monitoring weight is the best way to recognise when your pet has a weight issue.
Maintain healthy portions
It is important to create routine feeding patterns, making sure that the portions received are ideal for maintaining weight. Information on ideal portions can be found on all pet food's packaging.
For cats, adjust portion size if they live an indoor lifestyle. Keep food, water and litter in separate locations.
Change how you respond to begging
Begging doesn’t always mean your pet is looking for food or treats. Instead of giving food, try interacting with a mixture of attention and activity. Your pet will soon start to look for different kinds of stimulation, breaking the cycle of expecting to be fed or treated.
Stimulate your cat's instincts
Your cat’s health and well-being can be affected by the extent to which their natural instincts are stimulated. When you provide toys and feeding puzzles your cat not only increases activity levels, but satisfies deep-seated feline instincts. It’s great for mental well-being overall, which has the side effect of making over eating less likely.
Play and exercise more with your dog
Increasing your dog’s physical exertion has many positive effects outside of physical fitness. Exploring the outside world can satisfy social and hunting instincts. Exercising together, such as hiking or short runs, can help to strengthen your bond with your dog.
Monitor body conditions
Your vet can show you how to assess your pet’s Body Condition Score, to work towards an ideal shape.
Consult your vet
Talk to your local vet today about maintaining your pet’s ideal weight.