Keeping your pet at a healthy weight can keep your pet from developing further health problems in their life.
Mindy is a 13 year old cat that was surrendered to us when her owner couldn't take care of her anymore. She settled in quite quickly and all our staff have grown a soft spot for this sweetheart. When she came to us, Mindy was noticeably overweight. She weight 17 pounds when she should be closer to 12 pounds. We decided that we needed to do something about it and Mindy's weight loss journey began.
When Mindy first came to us, she was not a very playful cat. Her days consisted of sleeping in her bed and meowing at us for food. Since we figured we couldn't get her to lose weight by getting her active (at least not yet), we decided to cut back her food portions. She was not that happiest about that but slowly got used to eating her 1/8th of a cup portion three times a day.
Over the course of the 10 weeks she has been on this diet, she has lost almost 3 pounds. Mindy has become more playful and loves to chase her ball. She is an example of how, even with her age and lack of activity, any otherwise healthy animal can lose weight.
First and foremost:
CALORIES IN = CALORIES OUT
It makes sense that in order to lose weight, your body needs to burn more calories then it consumes and the same is true for you pet. If your pet is just laying around in their comfy bed all day, they will need less calories than someone else that is quite active. Those less active pets need to have amount of calories consumed lowered to an appropriate level.
In order to measure the calories your pet consumes, you need to have a proper measuring cup to ensure you can accurately calculate how much they consume. Also, feeding your pet multiple times a day in small quantities help to trick your pet into thinking they are getting more food than they are actually getting.
And what if they are not losing weight even after you cut back their food? Treats may be the culprit. Most people do not count the treats or table scraps their pet may receive throughout the day in the calorie intake but they are a lot more calories than you may think. The best option is to cut all those out, however if you really want to give treats make sure to account for those in your pet's calorie intake amount. Give less of their regular food in a day. Make sure to count how many treats you can give that day (it is recommended to give no more than 10% of their regular diet) and make sure you stick with it.
There are many other options to do with reducing their food amount that can help with weight loss. Switching to a weight loss specific diet, such as Metabolic or Weight control, that are specifically formulated to make your pet feel fuller and help boost metabolism may help. Adding wet food into their diet can also help make them feel full. Buying food dishes that encourage movement and playing with in order to get their food (such as treat balls, or food trees) can help get your pet active and burn some calories.