Pet Obesity: How To Help Your Pet Lose Weight & Stay Healthy

With Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner, there’s a lot to be excited about! However, November is also Pet Diabetes Month, an important time to spread awareness of something not often addressed in the world of pet care. Did you know that 59% of cats and 54% of dogs in the U.S. are overweight or obese? The risks that obesity poses for animals are not so different than in us humans, and it also includes diabetes.

At The Dog’s Meow, we are passionate about educating ourselves and others on pet health so that our fur-clients are getting the support they deserve. This includes the dogs and cats in the Salt Lake City community that suffer from obesity or pet diabetes. With the holidays approaching, we want to make sure that your furry companion is prepared to face those extra dreaded holiday pounds by offering recommendations on keeping your pet fit and active.

Here are 5 ways you can help your pet lose a couple lbs:

1. You Are What You Eat

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, one of the biggest factors in pet obesity and diabetes is a general lack of awareness on how much to feed your pet. Feeding a quality food and feeding according to the activity levels and age of your pet is beneficial. For starters, pay careful attention to the feeding guidelines on the bag. Many people tend to overfeed their pets by simply “eye-balling” their measurements!

For overweight pets, counting his or her calories can help significantly. But remember, if you notice your pet isn’t losing weight, continuing to reduce their calorie intake will only be detrimental to his or her health. Weight loss takes time and shouldn’t be rushed. If you don’t see results, visit your vet and ask to have their thyroid checked.

If you are looking for foods that will reduce or manage your pet’s weight, The Dog’s Meow has you covered! Our stores carry low glycemic dry foods and high meat content canned foods, which are great options for your diabetic or overweight dog. Here are some excellent choices of healthy food for cats and dogs, all of which can be found at The Dog’s Meow (some can also be ordered online with in-store pickup):

Nulo Dog Freestyle Cod & Lentils Recipe Grain-Free Adult Trim Dry Dog Food
Most commercial brand dog foods are about as healthy for dogs as fast food for humans, made with filler ingredients that do nothing to support your dog’s health. However, Nulo Dog Food is loaded with animal-based protein which helps build muscle and support the immune system, and is low on carbs to help stabilize your dog’s energy!

Fromm Gold Coast Grain-Free Weight Management Dry Dog Food
This delicious kibble uses a grain-free ocean fish recipe specifically formulated for weight loss and weight management. If you’re looking to control your dog’s calorie intake without disappointing his or her taste buds, Fromm Gold Coast Dry Dog Food could be your best bet!

Nulo Cat Freestyle Duck & Lentils Grain-Free Indoor Dry Cat Food
Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten the kitties in our audience! Your feline companions need rich proteins to stay healthy, too. 82% of the proteins in Nulo’s Grain-Free Cat Food come from real meat, and your cat will love the flavors of duck, chicken, and turkey in her bowl!

2. The Tricky Thing About Treats...

We’ve all heard it before when it comes to snacking—potato chips or other flavorful human treats are more often than not just loaded with “empty calories!” Re-evaluate the treats you are giving your pets. Are they empty-calorie treats, or good-for-them treats?

We know you love giving your furry companions treats almost as much as they love eating them! That’s why we wouldn’t suggest keeping treats away for good. However, there are plenty of healthier options out there. When it comes to treats, try monitoring how much you give them and make sure everyone in the household knows the rules. There are so many healthy treat choices to choose from in our store. Your paunchy pooches or kitties will love our selection!

3. Add More Raw Foods to Your Pet’s Diet

The popularity of raw diets is on the rise, and for good reason. There are numerous benefits to adding more raw foods to your dog’s meal, like improved dental hygiene, a healthier coat, and a boosted immune system. We know that a completely raw diet isn’t for everyone, but there’s no denying that raw food is an excellent choice for both diabetic and overweight pets. If you’re unsure of where to start, visit us at The Dog’s Meow—our store can help, and we carry delicious raw and freeze-dried options that make great meal toppers for your pup, even if you’re not ready to go 100% in.

Have you tried the “Green Bean Diet”? Replace ¼ of your pup’s diet with low sodium green beans per feeding and your dog will thank you for keeping his bowl interesting! This should not be considered a long-term diet, but it will help supplement your pup’s diet. For a quick, green fix, the Dog’s Meow carries Green Juju, an amazing supplement that will add the organic greens that your pup’s diet needs.

4. Amp Up Your Dog or Cat’s Fitness Routine

Whether or not your pet is at a healthy weight, play is in his or her nature. For cats, extra exercise could mean placing her food in various areas of the house so that she is moving each time she wants to eat. There are also food or treat-dispensing toys that will make a good hunt for your feline, too.

For dogs, we always recommend regular exercise, and not just on his daily walks. Step it up by taking your dog on hiking trips with friends! If hiking isn’t a viable option, consider hiring a dog walker or taking your dog out on more play dates with other canine pals. Barley’s Canine Recreation Center has an indoor pool for dogs who just love to swim! We also recommend Side by Side Dog Training for their fitness foundation classes.

The Dog’s Meow has a great selection of cat toys to try, including one of our very favorites, The VEE PURRfect Feather Wand Cat Toy. It’s an oldie but a goodie—the Dog’s Meow has kept this feather wand cat toy in our stores for almost 25 years! We recommend this chaser and teaser as the ultimate exercise tool for kitty, giving him or her the chase they need to keep their mind engaged and also find the satisfaction of playing with their favorite human: you!

5. Check Out Diet Supporting Supplements

Nearly everyone, including pets, could benefit from adding supplements to their diet and routine! Your pets need the extra vitamins and enzymes too, and pet supplements have been proven to help treat or prevent several diseases and health conditions in pets.

These supplements, in particular, will help aid in your pet’s weight loss and management:

inClover K9 Optagest Digestive Aid Dog Supplement Powder

This daily supplement for dogs is gentle and effective, with four plant-based enzymes supporting normal digestion. inClover K9 Optagest is especially effective for upset tummies due to food change, stress, travel, and other triggers. We love to recommend this product to our customers because there are absolutely zero inactive ingredients like fillers, sugars, and preservatives!

NWC Naturals Total-Zymes Digestive Enzymes Dog & Cat Powder Supplement
This is a great supplement for both dogs and cats, chock full of plant-based enzymes to help support your pet’s overall health! Your pet will benefit from enzymes that break down his or her foods to better absorb all the nutrients and energy their diet has to offer. We especially appreciate supplements like NWC Naturals that help decrease the funky odors pets tend to produce!

Remember to consult your veterinarian when making diet changes. When dealing with a diabetic pet, you should also monitor insulin levels with your vet. We at The Dog’s Meow are excited to help support your cat or dog’s weight loss goals at our two store locations, Draper and Millcreek. We carry all the above-mentioned products and more, ensuring your cat or dog will live a long, healthy life! If you have any questions or want a personal recommendation for YOUR pet, we’re here to help!

And guess what!? We now have in-store pick-up, which is a great option for pet parents on the go. Simply choose whichever location is closer to you (Draper or Millcreek), place your order, and we will notify you when your items are ready!