Is your pets health, not just your own weight, part of your New Year Resolution? Well, in-house pet expert Pam Andross has a very good bit of advice to share:
Did Fluffy and Fido gain a few holiday pounds? I know that my dog Cash might have!
“Cash” our family doggie, goes to most places with us and yes, his big begging brow eyes can’t be resisted by most.
How can you tell if your pet is overweight? If you LIGHTLY run your hands down your pet’s sides and can feel ribs, he or she is not likely overweight.
If he or she is indeed overweight, here are a few tips on getting things back to a healthy weight.
1) Do not free feed! This is a top cause of obesity in pets.
2) Feed measured amounts twice daily. (3 times a day for pets under 6 months). This also helps with training and creating the humans in the family as the “alpha.”
3) Use an actual measuring cup to measure dry food or figure out how many cups are in the scoop that you are using.
4) Ask your veterinarian or veterinary technician how much to feed your pet daily.
5) Do not feed according to the instructions on the pet food can or bag.
6) Feed for the desired weight. If your pet is 80 pounds, and should be 60 pounds, feed for a 60 pound pet.
7) Cut out the treats! Did you know that one large milk bone can equal one whole meal for a medium dog?
8) Measure out the food for the day and put it on the counter away from Fido. You may replace treats by taking a few nuggets out of that supply and give periodically though out the day. If all of the food is gone by dinner time, Fido has been fed for the day.
9) Minimum of 20 minutes of exercise twice daily.
When my husband first moved in with his dog Max, Max was 20 pounds overweight. We used suggestion #8 and it worked quickly. This method also prevented the kids from giving too many treats and they felt awful if Max couldn’t have his supper if the bowl was empty by the end of the day. (That only happened once)!
“Cash” a lovely doggie, gets 1 ½ cups of dry food twice daily. The goal is to get him to consistently weigh 60 pounds. He is currently 62 pounds, getting there!
“Sam” our cat is fed ¼ cup of dry food twice daily, that keeps him at 11 pounds, a perfect weight for him.
If treats are a must in your house, then be sure to compensate by taking away from the meal amount.
Pamela J. Andross, C.V.T.
Pam’s Pet Care Services, (860) 830-5904 Pandross@comcast.net