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Help!! My pets are overweight!

January 04, 2023

Help!! My pets are overweight!

There are very serious health issues associated with being overweight, including - joint problems, chronic inflammation, cardio-respiratory disease, diabetes and horribly - cancers and a shorter life span.
Firstly it's important to rule out any possible underlying medical condition with your pet health provider.
Weight gain is more often caused by multiple factors. Some of these can include overfeeding, an inappropriate diet, high carbohydrate or overly energy dense food, too many treats, lack of exercise.
Weight loss must be gradual, as rapid weight loss can in itself lead to health problems, especially serious in cats. Talk to your pet health provider to aim for a sensible guide.
Some tips that may help...
Raw/real foods, done right can make a world of difference. This is what dogs and cats are biologically designed to process. The body systems will start to function correctly, supporting optimal digestion and metabolism. And They LOVE it.
Be aware of the fat content in foods - dogs and cats do need some fat of course, but try feeding leaner options as the calorie content is often lower. Steer clear of the high carbohydrate and starchy foods such as rice as these are fattening and will also spike the blood sugar. Feed top quality biologically appropriate proteins.
Treats should make up no more than 10% of the total diet - just think a small piece of cheese can be like us having an entire burger! You could try giving small bits of carrot or broccoli and don't give in to the begging and say No to table scraps.
Stop all free feeding - hunters are not supposed to be grazers! Having set meals also allows for a gastric rest. Some cats can be a little resistant to change so ask for help if need be.
Any change must be gradual to allow your pets to adjust. This also includes carefully increasing the exercise, remember exercise must be discomfort free. For dogs increase the walking and swimming is great for overweight dogs as it supports the joints. A silly catnip session or fluffy wand can get your cat moving daily - think prey drive for cats!
Make your pets work for their meals, try using slow feeders, lickimats, puzzle toys, scatter food, or for dogs hide it outside so they have to sniff it out - A bonus is that these are physically as well as mentally rewarding.
It won't happen overnight but perseverance will pay off in the long run - we want our friends to be around as long as possible and to be happy and comfortable in their skins!

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