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Oct 22 2014

3 Ways to help your pet maintain a healthy weight

Has someone told you recently that your pet needs to lose some weight?  Maybe that person was your Veterinarian.  When your pet visits Grafton Animal Hospital for a physical exam, the doctor will give your pet a body condition score of 1 to 9.  The ideal body condition is 5, and any pet over 5 will be given a recommendation of dropping a few pounds.  Here are some tips:

  1. The measuring cup is a great tool.  Many pet parents cannot tell us exactly how much their pet eats each day.  A “scoop”, a “handful” and “a bowl full” are not really forms of measurement.  Use the feeding guidelines on your pet’s food bag.  Most bags offer a range for each pet weight, so be prepared to make adjustments. Ask us for a free measuring cup.  We can also help you determine how much food should be fed to your pet each day.
  2. Consider all food sources.  You may be feeding your pet the minimum amount of food for his weight, but he still gains weight.  The between meal snacks need to also be considered.  If your pet should have 2 cups of food in a day, and you give him 5 milk bones per day, the food amount needs to be adjusted to compensate for the snacks.  Even healthy snacks, like green beans or dental chews, need to be considered.
  3. Feed the right type of food.  There are a lot of different food brands and even more types of food amongst those brands.  Only puppies should have puppy food.  Giving puppy food to an adult dog can create excess calories and quickly lead to extra pounds.  Talk to your veterinarian about the proper time to switch foods.

Grafton Animal Hospital offers a number of veterinary diets to help your reach your goal.  Give any of our staff members a call if you have questions about keeping your pet at a healthy weight.

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