05 JUNE 2017 |

Pet Weight Loss 

As we reach the end of January, many of us are pushing forward on our New Years resolutions to lose weight and get in shape. All the things we fight in this arena, we struggle with as far as getting our pets slimmed down as well.

To achieve weight loss, you need to decrease calorie intake and minimally not decrease, but maintain metabolism level, and ideally increase metabolism level. How to do this is always the question.

Even if you just decrease calories, whether yourself or your pet’s, the body is built to maintain it’s weight and will slow down the metabolism. Therefore, you also need to be sure to exercise as well, even if just a little bit a few times a week.

One of the ways to decrease caloric intake is to just eat less, which pets don’t always appreciate. They prefer to have full bellies. The other way is to feed lower calorie food or at least food that makes you feel satified despite eating less. There are many pet foods out there that have this sorted out. They either have high fiber to increase fullness or increased protein and fat with low carbohydrate content to increase the feeling of satifaction despite eating less. Either works, but some are better for different pets espcially if any medical condition exists. For examples, diabetics would do best on the high protein, low carb diets and pets with kidney failure would have trouble with that route and would need the high fiber diet instead.

How about exercise? With dogs this can be fairly easy. You can often, exercise with your dog. Walks and jogs or biking with the dog jogging beside work well. Throwing balls and frisbies are good for those that enjoy such. Some may need to swim if they have joint problems that worsen with higher impact exercises. Occassionally with some skill you can even get a dog to use a tread mill though I would be very careful with this until the dog learns how to do it.

Cats on the other hand can be a bit harder to exercise. Many will chase cold laser lights or toys that have stuffed animals or balls on a rope. (Be very careful of anything string-like as cats can get it caught on or under their tongues and swallow it which is very serious or even fatal.) Some cats will walk on a harness and leash though they tend to walk you, not you walk them (for those that don’t want to risk letting their cat roam free unsupervised) Cat nip will often get a cat running around, but this too needs to be used in moderation as it is a stimulant and can cause digestive upsets. Certainly you wouldn’t want to use it if your cat has any disease which contraindicates stimulants (some would be hyperthyroidism or heart disease).

These are some suggestions to help you and your pet reach your weight goals. For further help yourself (human products) go to