The obesity epidemic isn’t just a human problem. Turns out, one out of every two pets is overweight! If your pet is a little too plump, these tips from The Biggest Loser’s Alison Sweeney will help! After discovering her own dog Winky was a little too pudgy, she teamed up with Hill’s Science Diet to launch the Million Pound Pledge—a national call-to-action for pet owners to help their cats and dogs lose weight and get back on track to living a happy, healthy lifestyle. Read on to help your furry friends be healthier because pets are family, too!
Pet Weight-Loss Tips
1. Feed them right. Feeding your pet the right pet food is crucial in helping them shed a few pounds or maintain a healthy weight. Alison uses Hill’s Science Diet Light to help Winky manage her weight. Not only does she love the taste, but she also gets all of the nutrients she needs without the extra calories and fat.
2. Practice portion control. It’s not a good idea to keep your pet’s bowl completely filled throughout the day—“free feeding” leads to overeating. Try measuring out exact portions for your pet. This will help keep your pet satiated throughout the day and prevent them from eating food that’s in the bowl just because it’s there.
3. Table the table scraps. Although it can be tough, don’t feed your cat or dog scraps from the table. Table scraps can really throw off a weight-management routine. Think of it this way, if you feed a 10-pound cat one cup of milk, it’s the equivalent of a 5-foot-4-inch woman eating three hamburgers! And do yourself a favor, keep your pet in another room when you’re preparing food—it keeps them from begging and you from caving in.
4. Play it forward. Who said playtime was just for kids? Get your entire family to include your pets in at least 10 minutes of play per day. From a brisk walk in the park with your dog to shining a flashlight on the floor or wall to encourage your cat to play, you’d be surprised at how big of a difference 10 minutes of activity can make when it comes to your pet’s health.
5. Put them on a pedestal. Just like humans, pets thrive on praise. Swapping out some treats for verbal and physical praise is a great way to reward them when they are doing well on a weight-management plan. When you do want to reward your pet with treats, don’t forget to account for them during meal time!
If your pets need to lose weight, get more tips at www.PetFit.com, and always talk to your vet to get a game plan!
I know my pug has gained a couple of pounds thanks to the food my daughter chucks in her direction. Do you need to put your doggie on a diet? —Erin