Pet Diet & Fitness

Dog weight management

Pet weight management is an important aspect of pet care that many pet parents might not think of until it’s a problem. But, as the adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that is especially true when it comes to pets who’ve been packing on those pounds, or who come up short on the scale.

What is pet diet and fitness?

Pet diet and fitness involves ensuring that your pet is getting enough exercise on a daily basis in order to maintain a healthy weight. Activities such as walking, playing fetch, or playing with toys are all types of fitness activities that you can do to help your pet to maintain their weight. Weight management can also involved helping an underweight animal to gain weight.

Why is pet diet and fitness important?

Pet diet and fitness are important for a number of reasons. First, daily exercise and fitness activities help to give your pet the mental stimulation it requires in order to stay healthy.

Second, maintaining an ideal weight will help your pet to live a longer, more comfortable life. Obesity in pets contributes to a number of health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, cancers, and joint problems.

Daily physical fitness benefits pets much in the same way it benefits their owners — by improving cardiovascular health, strengthening muscles, reducing depression, and helping maintain a healthy weight.

How can I tell if my pet is overweight?

Many pet parents might not even notice that their pet has gained weight, since the pounds can creep on slowly over time. Different animals and breeds will have different healthy weight ranges. If your pet’s ribs are difficult or impossible to feel when you place your hands on their side, they are likely overweight.

Other signs of obesity in pets include:

  • Ribs cannot easily be felt when running your hand along your pet’s side
  • Loss of an obvious waist
  • Collar needs loosening
  • Difficulty walking
  • Slow movement
  • Shortness of breath
  • Bad temper
  • Sleeping more than usual

Conversely, a pet that is underweight will have a waist that is noticeably more narrow than its rib cage, with the outline of individual ribs quite prominent. They might also be fatigued, irritable, and need their collar tightened as a result.

How to solve weight problems

If your pet is overweight, reducing their caloric intake while increasing physical activity levels is key to getting them back to a healthy weight. There are specially-formulated weight loss diets for cats and dogs that can help with this, or your vet may have a prescription food they recommend. Dogs and cats can benefit from fitness tools such as treadmills, pools, exercise pens, and toys in order to increase their activity levels.

For pets that are underweight, increasing their calories is the best way to help them get to a healthy weight. Your vet might recommend blood work in order to rule out any possible medical conditions that might cause them to be underweight, such as diabetes or thyroid issues. If your pet has a medical condition that is contributing to their weight struggles, you might be able to give them a medication in order to help balance their body’s hormones.

Pet weight management (as well as the pet’s diet) is an important aspect of pet care that many pet parents might not think of until it’s a problem. But, with a few simple daily habits, you can help ensure your pet meets their daily nutrition and fitness needs in order to maintain a healthy weight.

Woman playing with her beagle dog at home with a ball

Now more than ever, we’re spending more time indoors and so are our dogs. Keeping your dog fit is not only important for their health but it could save you needing to claim on your pet insurance. So how can you keep your dog entertained while they’re indoors? We look at the best ways to… Read More

5 Weight Loss Tips for Cats

Like humans, cats can put on a few extra pounds, especially as they get older and their metabolism slows down. And undoubtedly, weight loss is one of the most difficult challenges for humans and pets alike. Helping your cat lose unecessary weight will not only ensure they’re in optimal health, it may even add extra… Read More

The Best Dog Exercise Pens

It’s another beautiful day, and you’re watching your dog look at you longingly through the front window of your home while you work in the yard. Your yard isn’t fenced in, and Rocco just gets tangled in his run when he’s outside. The solution? An exercise pen. Designed to safely contain your dog to one… Read More

The Best Dog Swimming Pools

Just like us, some of our canines love a cool pool on a hot summer’s day. A dog swimming pool is an easy and fun way to help your dog stay cool during the hot days of winter. Many dogs absolutely love to swim and will enjoy having their own pool to play in. Even… Read More

What Should I Feed My Cat?

If you ask any cat owner what they feed their kitty, you will probably get a lot of different answers. Not every cat will do well with every type of food, so this is a decision you should make after consulting with your veterinarian. Read on to learn about the benefits of various types of… Read More

How Often Should I Feed My Cat?

There are several schools of thought when it comes to how often you should feed your cat. Some people prefer to allow cats to “free-feed” while others feel strongly about picking up a cat’s food in between meals. And still others like a hybrid approach. Here are some considerations to keep in mind when you… Read More

How Much Should I Feed My Cat?

To keep your cat healthy, it is important to feed her the right amount of food. Cats are small, so any excess weight can really make it difficult for them to run, jump, play, and climb. In addition, overweight and obesity in cats can lead to strain on their heart, diabetes, and other health issues…. Read More

What Should I Feed My Dog?

With so many options when it comes to dog food, you might feel overwhelmed and confused when you think about what you should be feeding your four-footed pal. As a pet owner, you need to make sure you know what foods you should never feed your dog, but finding the right food for your pet… Read More

How Often Should I Feed My Dog?

Humans eat three meals per day plus a few snacks, but you might not be sure whether your dog should also eat that often. The question of how often to feed a dog doesn’t have one pat answer, so read on to find out what you should keep in mind as you make this decision…. Read More

How Much Should I Feed My Dog?

Whether you have a new puppy or you are just wondering if you are feeding your dog enough (or too much!), it’s useful to sometimes think about how much you’re feeding your four-legged pal. Overfeeding your dog can lead to all sorts of issues related to obesity, and underfeeding her will cause her to be… Read More

The Best Cat Weight Gain Supplements

Some cats veer towards the chubby side, whereas others need some help gaining or maintaining weight. Senior cats, picky eaters, felines with health problems, and very active kitties are particularly likely to need some extra calories to help maintain their weight. So, what can you do about it? If you’ve tried increasing portion sizes with… Read More

The Best Dog Treadmills

Every dog needs at least some level of exercise, but getting enough can be a problem for man’s best friend. Whether your lifestyle simply doesn’t allow for longer dog walks, your home means they can’t get outside as much as you’d like, or adverse weather conditions get in the way, getting enough exercise for your… Read More

Cat staring at a salad

The obesity epidemic in cats has mirrored the epidemic in the human population in industrialized countries. Cats that were once hunters for vermin and insect control are now living the good life inside of our homes. While there are many benefits to having cats in our homes – improved lifestyle and longevity, safety, companionship and… Read More

How to Put a Dog on a Diet

If your vet has mentioned to you that your pup has a few pounds to lose, you may be surprised. After all, your dog does not need to bend to unrealistic social standards, does he? He’s adorable the way he is! Except adorable doesn’t equal healthy and if your vet thought it worth mentioning, you… Read More

How to Put Your Cat on a Diet

You may love your fluffy kitty, no matter her size, but if your cat starts struggling with obesity, it may be time to put your fat cat on a diet. Talk to your vet before you take any drastic measures, but once you do, you may find getting your cat to diet is even harder… Read More