At Burke Animal Clinic, we offer a variety of prescription diets to help keep your pet healthy and manage health problems like diabetes, kidney disease, allergies and weight management. The doctor will discuss your pet's special dietary needs and work with you to come up with a nutritional plan for your pet.
Weight management is a common challenge for pet owners. Here are some quick tips to help keep your pet in tip top shape:
- Feed your pet based on ideal weight and not actual weight
- Portion control is critical! Measure your pet’s food
- Keep in mind, the recommendation on food packaging is for active, intact animals that require more calories. Spaying or neutering your pet reduces metabolism by 10-12%, so adjust portions accordingly
- Treats are calories! Consider this – a rawhide is the equivalent serving of one piece of pizza and a biscuit is like eating a serving of Oreos!
- Dogs don’t see sizes, they see numbers, so break up treats into small pieces or use dog food as a treat. If you do this, remember to take the dog food to be used for treats from their normal allotment of food each day
- Try adding some filler. Add ¼ to 1 cup of green beans or 1-3 tablespoons a day of canned pumpkin to meals. Make sure it’s “canned pumpkin” and not pumpkin pie filling!
- Of course, exercise is key, too! For dogs, try increasing the number of walks or the distance, play ball, frisbee, or whatever activity your dog enjoys and can tolerate
- You can help your cat exercise, too! Make feeding time a game and hide food so your cat will explore the house to find the food (this works for dogs, too). Some cats like to chase things, so try throwing food. If you have a couch potato kitty, pick up your cat and move him or her upstairs or downstairs to encourage movement
- If you’ve tried to get your pet to lose weight but they’re not losing, or they’re still gaining, there could be an underlying health issue. Please see your vet.
- Your pet relies on you for its wellbeing; so don’t let him or her down! And, most of all, have fun. A healthy pet is a very happy pet.