Monday, March 6, 2023

How To Put Your Pet On A Diet

Putting your pet on a diet might sound a little severe, but it’s often necessary. Pets wind up consuming far more calories than they really need, putting their health at risk and increasing the likelihood of veterinary expenses.

The trick here is to put your pet on a diet. If you can control what they eat more and stop feeding them ultra-palatable human food, they should return to their original svelte form. 

Putting your pet on a diet isn’t as challenging as you might imagine. While it might take them a little time to get used to the new regimen, they’ll soon be just as happy as they were before, if not more so. 

Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can put your pet on a diet, just to be clear. 

Take Them To The Vet

The first step in any intervention is to figure out if your pet is actually overweight and why. You don’t want to start restricting calories if they have an illness or are the ideal weight for the breed.

Some pets can gain weight because of thyroid conditions, gut issues, or other tumors. Therefore, make sure they get a thorough examination first. 

Cut Back On Processed Junk

Processed foods are okay every now and then, but you don’t want to make a habit of eating them. The same principle applies to your dog just as much, if not more so. Dogs are highly susceptible to weight gain after eating processed foods, so keep treats to just once or twice a week. Ensure that the rest of their diet is whole food of one kind or another.

Even processed dog food treats are potentially hazardous to your pooch. Manufacturers add ingredients to make them more palatable, encouraging over-consumption.

If you are going to use treats, only give them to your dog as a reward during training. Avoid them otherwise.

Add Fresh Fruits And Vegetables

Adding fresh fruits and vegetables helps to make your dog feel full while adding variety to their meals. You can try various options until you find one your pooch likes more than any other.

Dogs tend to prefer green beans, carrots, broccoli, berries, cantaloupe, and apples. Just avoid feeding them anything from the nightshade family, or onions, garlic, and leeks.

You can also steam the vegetables first before giving them to your dog to make them more palatable. Dogs will usually eat them if you mix them in with the rest of their food.

Switch To Whole Grains

Refined pasta and white rice are dog staples, but they are also bad for them. Both these foods spike their blood sugar levels, putting them at risk of weight gain and diabetes. 

Dogs are more susceptible to blood sugar spikes, so you must be careful. Even a small serving can damage their metabolism. 

According to https://www.nextritionpet.com/blogs/nutrition/can-dogs-eat-brown-rice, dogs can eat brown rice. That’s good news because it absorbs more slowly into the system and contains extra fiber and nutrients to keep your dog healthy. 

Try Using Rewards That Aren’t Food

Dogs love food, which is one of the main reasons owners use it as a reward. However, that’s not always a good thing. People can over-indulge their pets, leading to serious weight gain. 

Fortunately, you don’t always need to use tasty treats to get your dog to do what you want. You can try other rewards instead. 

For example, many pet owners shower their dogs with hugs and praise when they do things right. Others give them a new shiny toy or take them to the park. 

The critical factor here is to activate the reward systems in their minds. Once they light up, dogs will do pretty much anything you want. 

Exercise Them More

Some humans can get away with being couch potatoes and remain thin. However, dogs require regular exercise to stay in shape. That’s because they are more prone to weight gain than most people. 

Small dogs need about an hour of exercise per day. Larger hounds require up to two, depending on their age. 

The best option is to keep your dog moving throughout the day. The more calories they can burn running around, the less likely they are to put on weight. 

The trick here is to get your pet out of the house. If you can get them standing for most of the day, weight gain is less likely to occur. 

Avoid The Temptation To Provide One Large Meal

Try feeding your dog many small meals during the day instead of one large one. This approach helps to keep your pup’s sugar levels steadier, eliminating the risk of spikes at lunch or dinner, before they sleep, according to https://pets.webmd.com/

If dogs can only eat once per day, they will consume as much as possible. They will stuff themselves on the most calorie-dense foods, causing blood glucose spikes that can dramatically increase the risk of weight gain. 

Keep Them Out Of The Kitchen

Another strategy is to keep them out of the kitchen. The calories in food left lying around can add up to a substantial amount for opportunistic pups supplementing their diets. 

Kitchens are particularly perilous for pooches because they contain all the delectable human treats which are worse than anything you could buy in the pet store. Dogs can easily consume slices of cake left on the kitchen table when nobody looks. 

Reduce Portion Sizes

If things get really desperate, you might consider reducing portion sizes. But you should only do that if you’re already following all the advice above. You don’t want your dog to feel like they’re starving. 

If you do reduce portion sizes, cut down by a small amount at first. Don’t do anything drastic that could lead to unwanted changes in your dog’s behavior. 

Cutting down over several days is a great strategy. This way, your pup will hardly notice the weight falling off them.

Remember, if you have concerns about your pet’s weight, take them to the vet for a check-up.

21 comments:

  1. I have one that likes to eat and she tries to take her sister doggie's food too! I have to measure out her food. My other girl loves fruits and veggies and her dog food, but she seems satisfied with the appropriate amount for her size. These are great tips!

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  2. Thanks for the great tips! Important not to let the pooch get paunchy!

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  3. All good tips! Reducing portion size by just a little is easier than any big change,

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  4. I have 2 Corgi's and one is slim and trim and the other one looks like a sack of potatoes. I have been at my wits end as to what to do to help her. Thank you for the great article on how to put her on a diet.

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  5. Loving the tips in this post and my most important tip is to follow those feeding instructions. Do not just leave an endless supply of food around for them... they should eat at set times and a perfectly portioned amount. I learned the hard way with my cat who now has diabetes.

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  6. These are some great tips! Thankfully our pup is the perfect weight but our daughter's cat has really put on weight. She's been working to help him to lose some.

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  7. Great tips! A great way to help my cats get exercise is with their dangle wand toy.

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  8. I unfortunately have made rewards as treats. My vet says my dog needs to lose weigh. Thank you for the tips.

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  9. Great tips. We have a australian shepherd that is on the chubby side and I worry about his health. With the weather being so bad here lately it's hard for me to get him out and about walking as much as he needs. Can't wait for warmer weather!

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  10. My sweet pup could eat all-day. She is a puppy, so we are constantly training her. We reward her with her kibble, which she enjoys and just use it from her meals. We also give her green beans as treats. These tips also work well with humans.

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  11. We had to put our cat on a diet.

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  12. Our daughter's Corgi had to be put on a diet. These are great tips for pet parents.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  13. My guys are on a prescription. old cat, diet - for their kidneys

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  14. I had to do this for my little guy. Keeping the kitchen as a place only for meals and picking up his food bowl between meals really made the difference.

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  15. I have to incorporate your tips in this article as a way of life! I have to begin giving my fur baby smaller portions of food and start giving her some fruits and vegetables 🥕 that I didn’t know I could do before I read your article. I pinned this so I can go back and reference this article again. Thank you for sharing your knowledge 😍

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  16. Thanks for the information. It so important to help our pets maintain their health.

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  17. We've been adding vegetables into our dog's diet for years and it's kept him healthy and in the right weight bracket. His faves are broccoli, cauliflower and carrots.

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  18. I could use some help Dobby. You know weenie dogs.

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  19. I found this post very useful as I have an overweight senior dog. Thanks for the information.

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