Food is the language of love. This language holds true for pet parents and your precious pets too.
However, can you recognize when your love starts impacting your pet negatively, making them overweight? While obesity among pets has been a common problem in the U.S., it’s now growing steadily in India as well. This post will talk about the right food choices for pets struggling with weight loss.
Overweight dogs: what to feed them?
Most dogs are active by nature, which sometimes makes pet parents forget that overfeeding them could impact their health negatively. This is especially true for the large dog breeds like Rottweilers and Labradors; the owners of these giant floofs often cross the fine line between “healthy” and “overweight” without even realizing it.
If you’ve been noticing a drastic growth in your pet’s weight recently, it’s important to take measures to help them lose it. Here are some suggestions that might help you:
Switching to multiple meals a day
Many pet parents feed adult dogs one meal a day, which is often the root of the overweight problem. When fed only once, dogs tend to gorge on their meal like there’s no tomorrow. To control their appetite, divide that one large meal into 2-4 small meals throughout the day.
When you start serving them smaller meals, be firm and patient with them, giving them time to adjust.
Feeding them meat-based dog foods (poultry and seafood)
A high-protein meal is ideal for all dogs, more so for those who’ve gained considerable weight. Buy meat-based dog food for your overweight pets, preferably ones with fish, poultry, and seafood rather than pork and lamb (as the latter is richer in fat).
Avoiding foods with rice as the main grain
As most of you might already know, a balanced diet for your furball should include both meat-based and grain-based foods.
When it comes to grain-based dog foods, rice, soy, corn, wheat, and barley are some of the common key ingredients used. And for your overweight pet, it’s best if you avoid rice-based grain foods and go for ones with soy and corn instead. These grains have a lower amount of carbs, which is exactly what your pet needs right now.
It’s no secret among pet parents that our furred friends gain more weight from their treats than their meals. This is why planning their treats is just as important as planning their meals, if not more.
Dogs like their treats crunchy, and there’s a variety of low-fat treats you could offer them, such as
Overweight cats: what to feed them?
How many of you have heard of amylase? It’s an enzyme that digests carbs in our body. While this enzyme is present in humans and some other mammals (including dogs), cats don’t possess it. This means that cats have difficulty digesting carbs and, if not fed carefully, can grow overweight easily.
Picking wet food over dry food
As far as cat foods are concerned, you’ll notice how dry foods contain a higher quantity of carbs in comparison to wet food. So, for a cat that is gaining weight consistently, wet food is always safer. If you don’t want to disrupt your pet’s diet or they seem to like dry food more, you can start slow and serve them a mix of both for starters, slowly increasing the portion of wet food in it.
Another reason why wet food is a better choice is their high moisture level, which keeps them hydrated and prevents kidney infections or diseases.
Some cat parents believe that giving treats can help strengthen their bond, which is not the case at all.
That being said, don’t forgo treats completely. Simply pick low-calorie treats for them like: :
While altering your pet’s diet to cut back on their calorie intake is the first step on their fitness journey, you can’t expect to do it all by yourself. Whenever your pet’s health is concerned, it’s always best to consult a veterinarian, be it to get expert advice or approval for the new diet plan you’ve created for your furred friends.