Let's talk about overweight pets.
You love your pet and sometimes that love might be shown through extra food and treats. However, that is also the reason why about half of cats and dogs in the United States are overweight. This article will discuss possible causes of being overweight and changes in diet that you can make to help your pet lose weight.
If you aren't sure if your pet is overweight just by looking at them your veterinarian will usually tell you at your pet's annual checkup if they are overweight. You can also research the average weight for specific breeds. Health problems could cause obesity in pets or obesity may be causing your pet to have health problems. Before starting your pet on a diet, take them to the veterinarian to make sure they don't have some type of condition that could cause obesity such as hypothyroidism.
If your dog doesn't have a health issue causing them to be overweight then they are overeating. Why are they overeating? There could be a lot of different reasons. You may be feeding your dog, but if it's not quality, nutritional food then it may leave still leave them feeling hungry. If your dog or cat's food is full of bi-products and fillers it may be increasing their weight and leaving them hungry. Meat should be the first ingredient in your pet's food. If your pet is overweight and their food isn't high quality then you need to switch foods. You can also get vitamin and mineral supplements for your pet as well.
You may also just be overfeeding your pet. This is usually more typical in dogs than cats. Your dog may beg you for feed and treats even after it already ate. This doesn't mean they are hungry. Sometimes if cats and dogs know they can beg and cry for treats they will do it, kind of like a game. So, if your pet is overweight, be strong and don't give in to their begging for human food or pet treats.
You should also cut reduce the portions of food that you give to an overweight pet. Believe it or not, but most dogs don't actually need food every day. This isn't true for cats and small dog breeds. Also, you shouldn't starve your dog, the point is that your dog wont starve if you simply give it smaller meals.
The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your veterinarian or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment.