How to Help Your Pet Lose Weight
As pet owners, we value our cats and dogs above all else. We love showering them with affection, love and treats. Unfortunately, there really can be too much of a good thing.
Pet obesity has become an increasing problem, with a growing number of cats and dogs exceeding their recommended weight. This is worrying as animals, specifically cats and dogs, are not biologically designed to carry a large amount of weight. As a result there are a myriad of health complications that can arise - many of them resutling in shorter, lower quality lifespans, as well as causing illnesses that are often fatal.
Pet weight gain is easily triggered, and often stems from a very simple cause. With the exception of fairly rare health conditions, the majority of pets become overweight due to overfeeding, being fed unhealthy products and lack of exercise.
Not to worry though. If you’re looking for a solution to your dog or cat’s weight gain, we’ve compiled the following guide on how to help them lose weight.
Portion Size and Calorie Control
Pets require a strict attitude towards their diet, yet many cat and dog owners don’t realise that portion control is such an integral aspect of pet care. Cats and dogs require carefully allocated amounts of food rather than just being presented with a full bowl at feeding time.
For example, although all of our product pages online come with a recommended feeding guide, it’s important that owners don’t just take these at face value; food amounts will vary based on breed and health. For a truly accurate idea on how much your pet should be eating, consult your vet.
It’s also important to consider the amount of treats and plate scraps that you’re feeding your pets. These are supposed to be given sporadically as a reward for good behaviour - not given out every time your cat or dog brings out the puppy dog eyes. Although you may feel guilty for denying your pet, remember that this is for their own good. You can show affection in many ways without jeopardising their health.
Give treats and scraps occasionally, and when you do, ensure that it is all healthy food - nutritious treats like our Artisan Bakes, suitable vegetables or fruits.
One helpful way to keep track of the amount of scraps and treats you’re feeding your pet - and how many calories each will contribute to their overall daily intake - is to start a food diary, wherein you can monitor everything your pet eats.
This blog may have been the first time that you realised how unhealthy a lot of pet food is - perhaps including the current products that you’re feeding your dog or cat. Well, now that you know, it’s time to make the change.
Our own recipes take a bespoke, holistic approach; we’ve spent years researching and interviewing pet owners to cultivate what we think is the perfect combination of a high meat or fish content, alongside 32 carefully chosen fruits, vegetables, spices and botanicals, all with their own individual health benefits, which we explore here.
Our reviews speak for themselves - but so do your pets. Just look at how much Nacho loves his puppy food:
A Smooth Transition
If you’ve decided to switch your pet food as result of this information, it’s important to do so slowly and carefully so as to not disrupt your pet’s diet or weight too suddenly.
For a change towards AATU products for example, we recommend replacing 25% of your existing cat or dog food every other day until they are eating 100% AATU food.
Many pet owners also like to mix up wet and dry food to provide their pet with some variety. There’s absolutely no reason not to do so, but do take into account that you’ll need to adjust portions in response. For every 100 grams of wet food, you should reduce dry kibble by 20 grams - not doing so may be another culprit behind your pet’s weight gain.
Pets aren’t like people, and so weight loss attitudes should not be the same. For dogs, for example, it’s not as simple as increasing exercise slightly; being incredibly active creatures to begin with means that they require a LOT of walks and active play to keep healthy.
Ensure that you’re walking your dog regularly, and at the recommended amount based on their breed, or their weight if you’ve had a consultation with a vet.
Whilst cats can be harder to engage in exercise, do your best to get them a bit more active, through playing or even placing their food in ways that will require them to get moving a little more in order to reach it.
Exercise is much more helpful for maintaining a healthy weight; once you’ve taken the appropriate lifestyle changes in terms of diet and regulated portions, regular exercise will help your pet to maintain a lower weight.
If you’ve tried everything else and are still finding that your pet isn’t losing weight, or is even gaining it, then it’s time to consult a vet, who will be able to give you a more accurate guide on the best plan for your pet.
Remember, every animal is different, so while we try to be as informative and helpful as possible in our blogs, we haven’t met your four-legged friend and can’t always provide the best advice.