If your best pal has put on a few extra pounds, it may be time to help him slim down. And no one is better equipped for the task than you! Sadly, over half our nation’s dogs and cats are overweight (here is how to tell if your pet is one of them). But you may be surprised at how a few, simple changes can produce healthy results. Follow these seven tips to help your pet lose weight and get healthy!

1. Make mealtime fun.
Use interactive feeders like the Busy Buddy Kibble Nibble or the SlimCat Interactive Feeder to provide your pet with mental and physical exercise.

2. Treat wisely.
Your pet will not know a high calorie treat from a healthy one so opt for a low-cal treat. And, when you treat your pet, break them into smaller pieces to avoid overfeeding. Functional treats, such as those that provide joint support, are an added bonus! And to keep it super simple, use your pet’s food as a treat. Here are a few of our favorite, healthy treats!

  • For dogs: Fruitables Skinny Minis Dog Treats
  • For cats: Bellrock Growers Pet Greens
  • For dogs and cats: Northwest Naturals Freeze Dried Treats

3. Get out and play.
Do yourself AND your pet a favor and add a little exercise with a daily walk or 5 to 15 minutes of play with their favorite toy. You’ll be surprised how just a few minutes of play can boost their energy level – and create a bonding experience for you and your pet.

4. Substitute attention for treats.
If your pet has come to expect treats, start rewarding them with your time and affection instead. Playing with a favorite toy or a good belly rub is a great reward and does not add on calories (and may even burn some)!

5. Measure meals.
Don’t guess on the amount you should feed your pet and don’t just keep their bowls full. It’s easy to overfeed! Use your pets weight as an indication of how much to give them. If they are overweight (here is how to tell) than it is time to cut back on the serving size.

6. Feed high quality food.
Avoid foods with excessive fillers, artificial flavors and preservatives. Higher protein foods helps pets feel satisfied with fewer calories. Here is more information on raw food diets and how they help with weight loss.

7. Take it slow.
Just as weight gain doesn’t happen overnight – neither does weight loss.

Following these tips to ensure your pet has a healthy diet and active lifestyle can be surprisingly effective at helping them drop those extra pounds. Develop a plan that works for you and stick with it! The end result is not only a healthier, but a happier, pet! If you need help picking out a new high quality pet food or treats – we can help. Come see us!