Keeping Pets at a Healthy Weight

The statistics are alarming: about 30-40% of pets in the US are overweight and approximately 25% are obese.  Maintaining a healthy weight is extremely important for our pets, as overweight animals will suffer from more health issues.

Average sized cats should weigh about 8-10 pounds.  A dogs weight will vary with its breed.  To look up your pet's ideal weight, try visiting Pets Obesity Prevention.  You can also try seeing if your pet is overweight by feeling his or her ribs by pressing fingers gently on the side of the ribcage.  If you can easily feed your pet's ribs, they are probably not overweight.

Ask your veterinarian for advice about how much to feed your pet and what to feed your pet.  I mostly give my cats dry food and just a small amount of wet food.  Both dry and wet foods have their pros and cons.  Dry food can help maintain dental weight and wet food can provide more moisture content, which is a good source of water.  The best way to determine what to feed your cat is to ask your veterinarian.

Some other tips to helping your pet maintain a healthy weight are as follows:
  • Control pets calorie intake and make sure he gets exercise.
  • Stick to an established mealtime, preferably split in the morning and evening.
  • Having dry food available all day is not recommended.
  • Do not feed your pet table scraps.
  • Provide sufficient exercise for your pet.  Indoor cats can get exercise with toys that let them run around, such as laser mouse or a pole with a feather or toy at the end. Cat condos or trees will let them climb and jump.
  • Give your pet only a few treats a day.  Low calorie treats are a good option if your pet is trying to lose weight.