If you have an overweight cat or dog, here are a few tips to help them stick to a daily calorie allowance:
- Establish their ideal weight in order to work out how much to feed them.
- Establish their activity levels. An indoor cat or a dog that has reduced activity will need less calories. Some feeding guides will show the daily allowance for an active, very active and sedentary animal.
- Avoid measuring cups and use digital scales to weigh the food out. Measuring cups can give inaccurate measurements and can vary as much as 20%.
- If you can’t cut treats out of the diet completely, switch to low calorie treats, and remember to reduce their normal daily food accordingly.
- If you have a severely overweight cat/dog, consider changing to a specific weight loss diet to initiate the weight loss.
- If your cat or dog eats quickly, try using slow feeder bowls, activity cubes or puzzle boards. This also creates stimulation and increases activity levels in some cases.
An exercise routine is important to help aid weight loss. For dogs, factor in daily walks and playtime. For cats, try and stimulate play when in the house.
For initial weight loss monitoring, it is advisable to weigh every 2-3 weeks to check that the current feeding amounts and activity levels are right for your pet. Clinic nurses at all our practices hold free-of-charge weight consultations to help you and your pet in their weight loss journey. Visit www.scarsdalevets.com for more information.