Our pets are the sunshine of our lives. We play with them, we cuddle them — heck, we even throw them parties! While all of that love and attention is totally great for your pet, there is one way that we show our love that can be very detrimental to their well-being:
“Too many treats,” chastises Dr. Amber Andersen, veterinarian at the Redondo Veterinary Medical Center. “Show your love for them through belly rubs, not food!”
Much like people, our domesticated pets are becoming a little pudgier. Maybe that’s due to the table food you slip them, or maybe you’re feeding your dog or cat the wrong pet food entirely. Animal diets are finicky things that need to be treated with as much care as you give to your own.
“Before starting a diet, all animals should be examined to determine whether there is a medical reason for their weight gain,” says Dr. Gaylord Brown, in-house vet for the past 30 years at D.E.L.T.A. Rescue, the world's largest no-kill, care-for-life animal sanctuary for dogs and cats. “Hypothyroidism is the most common disorder that causes weight gain.”
No matter the assessment of your pet’s health, there are things you can do at home to get their little bodies back on track. Try these vet- and trainer-approved tricks to make sure your pudgy puppies or fat cats are the healthiest they can be!
For Cats: Cut the Carbs
“Switch to lower carbohydrate foods,” instructs Dr. Katherine van Ekert, a veterinarian at VetPronto. “Cats are obligate carnivores and, ideally, should not eat any carbohydrates, so pay special attention to labels. Also, small amounts of tuna, chicken, and meat are OK, but should be supplemented with cat food, too.”
For Dogs: Cut the Excess Food
“Reduce the amount of dog food in Fido's bowl,” advises Amy Robinson, dog trainer creator of the dog training program Drool School. Read the dog food label for recommended amounts and reduce by 15 percent for small dogs and 20 percent for large dogs.