It’s not just people that are prone to putting on a few pounds over the Christmas period, pets can end up getting a little on the tubby side too! Help your furry friends stay healthy by...
1. Measure Food out Daily
Using a measuring cup or mug can result in you over feeding your pet by 18-80%. Use scales to accurately weigh the food. To save time, you could weigh a week’s worth out and put each daily allowance into a sandwich bag.
2. Check you are feeding the correct amount of food
Look at the back of the container/bag and feed your pet for their ideal weight, not their current weight. Each brand of food will have a different daily allowance so always check the packaging. The amount given is their daily allowance, NOT how much to feed each mealtime.
3. For pets that are always hungry/eat quickly
Try increasing the amount of mealtimes. If they usually feed once a day, try increasing to twice daily. Split their daily allowance between how many meals you feed them. If they eat quickly, try using an interactive feeder to slow them down and make mealtimes last longer.
4. Try feeding a light/reduced calorie diet
You could try changing their diet to a ‘light; diet. This is a good idea if your pet is only slightly above their ideal weight or prone to putting on weight, but may not work if they need to lose a few kilos. When changing diets, you should do it gradually over a week or two to prevent upsetting their stomachs.
5. Weight loss diets & weight clinics
Scarsdale Vets offer free nurse clinics to monitor your pet’s weight, give you tips on weight loss and advise you prescription diets designed to help your pet lose weight. We have had a lot of success using the prescription diets and these are ideal for pets that have more than 1.2kgs (in dogs) or 0.5 – 1kg (in cats) to lose. If your pet is more than 10% overweight feeding a prescription diet will give you the best results and by joining our free nurse clinics you will have the support to get your pet to their target.
6. Cut down on treats
Most have a high calorie content. Please speak with your Veterinary Nurse to discuss healthy alternatives to treats.
7. Introduce Daily Exercise
Dogs - Depending on your dog’s age and any medical conditions, you should ensure they get a regular amount of exercise on a daily basis. Try to increase the distance younger dogs are walked by 10 – 15 minutes. For older dogs, try taking them on shorter walks, but more frequently.
Cats - Try to encourage your cat to play for a couple of minutes at a time. Cats lose interest very quickly, so shorter bursts of play several times a day will help improve their mobility. Change their toys weekly to stop them losing interest in old toys. There is no need to buy new toys each week, just rotate them so they have a different one each week. Encourage them to jump and run up and down the stairs. Try feeding them on the stairs by putting a few biscuits on a few of the steps so they have to move around to get them