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How to Help Your Pet Lose Weight.jpg

Do you have an overweight pet on your hands? Even a few extra pounds can negatively impact your pet’s health by causing joint issues, heart problems and even diabetes. Here are five simple tips to help your pet fight the battle of the bulge.

Weigh In

It’s best to set up an appointment with your veterinarian for an official “weigh-in”. This way, you’ll know your pet’s starting point and can get recommendations for a healthy pet weight loss plan. Your veterinarian can also check for health issues that may be causing weight gain or might interfere with weight loss.

Portion Control

One of the keys to helping your pet lose weight is to reduce calories. To do that, you need to make sure you’re offering your pet the right amount of food at mealtimes. Ask your veterinarian what portion size is right for your pet. You should also use a measuring cup rather than a scoop for better accuracy, and avoid leaving food out for your pet to nosh on freely. Get more pet nutrition tips.

Reduce Treats

Cutting back on treats is another important way to reduce your pet’s calorie intake. Offer treats sparingly, and check the ingredients and calorie count on your pet’s favorite ones. You may be surprised how much sugar and fat they contain. Keep in mind treats should be a very small percentage of your pet’s calorie intake. Try these simple dog treat recipes.

Offer Fruits and Vegetables

Packed with vitamins and minerals, fruits and vegetables are a healthy alternative to store bought treats. You can offer your pet apples, carrots, broccoli and other pet-safe picks from the produce aisle (see our infographic for a full list). Be sure to wash them first and remove any seeds or pits. You can also cut them into small pieces to help prevent choking.

Increase Exercise

In addition to decreasing calories, you’ll need to increase the amount of exercise your pet is getting. Start slowly at first, especially if your pet has been a bit of a couch potato. Go at your pet’s pace initially, then gradually lengthen walks and playtime as your pet gets stronger. You may even notice your waistline shrinking!


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