Helping Your Pet Shed Those Holiday Pounds

Humans certainly understand the weight gain that is commonly associated with the holiday season, with all its rich treats and festive feasts. Did you know that animals are also prone to excess seasonal weight gain? In the interest of keeping your pet lean and healthy, here are a few tips from an experienced Bremerton veterinarian on helping your pet shed those extra holiday pounds, or avoid them altogether.

Stick to a healthy, balanced diet. Just like humans, animals need a nutritious diet to stay healthy and maintain an optimum weight. Ask your Bremerton veterinarian what type of food you should be feeding your pet, and – more importantly – how much of it you should be serving. Often weight gain in pets is not due to the food itself, but the quantity that they are consuming.

Avoid giving handouts. It’s never a good idea to feed people food to animals, but sometimes we like to indulge our pets a little – especially during the holidays. Be mindful of what food you are giving your pet, and how frequently. Too much of a good thing can end up making your pet plumper than they should be.

Increase exercise. Physical activity can help keep your pet at a healthy weight, but if you’re not balancing the amount of exercise with the amount of food intake, the results can be disproportionate. If you know you’ve been indulging your animal companion a little more than usual, step up the exercise to match.

Switch to a low fat, high fiber food. Some pet foods are specifically designed to help pets maintain a healthy weight. If you are currently feeding your pet a premium food, and the exercise isn’t enough to shed those extra pounds, talk to your Bremerton veterinarian to see if a switch to one of these speciality foods may be in order.

Replace treats with attention. Instead of rewarding your pet with a treat every time he or she does something to make you happy, try offering a little extra love and attention. Your pet will feel especially loved and you won’t have to worry about that pesky weight gain.

Work with your Bremerton veterinarian. If you’ve done all of the above and your animal companion is still on the chunky side, it may be time to enlist the help of your vet. Together you can work toward helping your pet maintain a healthy weight, improving the chances of a long, happy and healthy life.

Comments are closed.