5 easy steps to follow in order to get your pet on its way to achieving their optimal weight.
1. Make an appointment to speak with one of our skilled technicians at Riverview Animal Hospital about getting a tailored diet plan for your pet. We will get a base weight, a BCS ( body condition score ) and you will have a brief questionnaire to answer in order to get an idea of your pet’s activity level and nutrition.
2. Ditching the measuring cups, coffee mugs, and scoops and pick up a gram scale. You don’t need anything fancy, just a simple scale that allows you to measure in grams. Some pet food bags already work out the math for you while others will require you to do a little simple math. Either way feeding your pets with the required number of grams rather than the cups will ensure that your pet is getting the required number of calories/ Kg or lbs.
3. Leading me into my next point… weigh your pets! Some of us might not even know how much our pet weighs. So most of us make an educated guess and follow the recommended daily intake for that weight bracket. Having an exact weight will ensure that you are feeding the proper amount of food as well as allow you to track your pet’s progress. This is very important as it will allow us to adjust the diet if your pet is losing too much or too little weight.
4. Cut out the treats! If you are feeding your pet the daily recommended intake any treats, snack or drive thru timbits are just added calories. Although some treating habits should be stopped altogether, others can be integrated in your pet’s daily calorie intake.
5. Exercise is not important for weight loss! Believe it or not exercise is not as important as some might think when it comes to shedding a few pounds off your pooch. Exercise has a very important role in your pet’s health. It keeps them mobile and limber for longer, helps with mental stimulation, creates a bond with you and your pet and most importantly, it maintains their muscle mass. If your pet does not exercise on a regular basis it is very important to ease into it. Instead of being a weekend warrior, bring your pet for 2×20 minute walks every day. Pets that are carrying extra weight will benefit more from multiple short walks rather than going for longer walks once or twice on the weekends. This can cause soft tissue injuries which is very painful if left untreated.
Pets nowadays are bigger than ever which in turn causes other medical issues ( diabetes, hyperthyroidism, soft tissue injuries, osteoarthritis) which create additional costs at the Vet. Shedding even as little as 5 lbs will help your pet feel 100% better and help your pet live longer and happier.
Written by Monique Leblanc, RVT