Furry or Fat? 3 Ways to Keep Your Pet at a Healthy Weight

Your pets are a member of your family and deserve the same level of attention to their health. This October, the team at West Ballantyne Animal Hospital would like to educate you on pet nutrition and is shedding light on three ways to feed your pet to keep them at a healthy weight. Follow these tips to ensure your four-legged friend is more fur than fat.

#1: Calculate the number of calories your pet needs each day

Instead of feeding your pet the suggested amount on the food bag, figure out the actual number of calories they need each day with the help of a cat or dog calorie calculator. Once you have calculated how many calories your pet needs, you can compare that to how many calories are in each portion of canned or dry food. Take the total number of calories your pet needs each day, then divide that into two or three meals to ensure your four-legged friend eats the correct amount they need to stay healthy.

#2: Feed your pet using a food puzzle

A food puzzle is an excellent alternative to a boring dish, plus it provides enrichment opportunities to keep your pet mentally and physically engaged. A rubber Kong is a popular option since you can stuff it with your pet’s daily meals and freeze it overnight for longer-lasting enjoyment. If your pet struggles with a Kong, create your own puzzle from items you have at home.

#3: Keep your pet’s treats to 10% of their daily calories

When your furry pal turns their begging gaze upon you, it’s difficult to say no, but treats should be kept to 10% of their daily calories. Commercially produced treats are generally high in fat, sugar, and calories, so even a small number of treats can add up quickly. Choose healthier treat options, like fresh fruit and veggies or morsels of lean meat.

Good nutrition and weight management are key to your pet’s overall health. These healthy habits are created at a young age for your pet, and it’s up to you to help them maintain these habits. Are you unsure how much to feed your pet to help them maintain a healthy weight? Our veterinarians are pet health experts! When you come in for a nutrition and diet consultation, we’ll help you understand your pet’s individual needs and help you create a custom, comprehensive health plan for them. Contact our team for help.