As we start the year, perhaps feeling a little heavy than we did before the festive season its important to remember our pets may follow our habits when it comes to food and exercise.
We love to treat our pets, it may be new toys every week, or a treat when you go out, when you come home, when they've been good, when they did a weewee outside; but there are a growing number of pets in the UK that are overweight and obese.
It’s important to remember that these conditions are harmful and some of the effects it has on your pet’s body are long and arduous to change and some are irreversible.
We should be aware of what our pets ideal weight should be and know whereabouts your pets current weight is (this is also important when you want to buy and use flea and worm treatment).
For some mixed breeds it can be hard to know what their ideal weight should be but if you are unsure have a chat with your vet. Many vet practices and even pet shops offer free weight checks.
If your new years resolution is exercise more and eat better then take the opportunity to see if your, dog, cat or rabbit could do with the same treatment. It’s not as simple as just feeding your pet less, though many of us will admit that we don’t measure our pets food, we simply fill the bowl! But take the time to check your pet foods recommended feeding guidelines and check if it gives different guidelines for active and low activity pets. Just remember, even if your pet seems very ‘hyper’ or has lots of energy, it’s not the same as being a high activity pet.
It may sound obvious but if your pet needs to loose a little weight, make sure you are feeding the amount for their ideal weight not their current weight.
There are a few really easy ways that you can help your pet stay active and trim a little off, whilst keeping their brains active too!
-Make sure your feeding the correct amount and remember that if you are giving any treats, including dental chews, you will need to reduce the amount of complete feed you give so you don’t exceed your pet’s total intake.
-If you don't want to cut out treat all together have a look on the pack to see how many it recommends you can give daily (You may be surprised by how few it is!).
-Consider not using or reducing the amount of treats you give, you can even use some of their regular food to give out as a reward, this makes it really easy to make sure your only giving the recommended amount each day.
-use a puzzle feeder to stimulate their brain and get them working a bit for their dinner, take a look on our facebook page for videos on how to use puzzle feeders and feeding balls.
Here is a broad and fairly simple guide to gauge if your pet is a healthy weight with out the weights, which be more suitable for you if you have a cross breed.