It is really hard to stay on a diet; however, it is much easier when someone else has control of what and how much you eat. That is the situation for our pets. If they are overweight, it is our fault, but don’t despair, they can get back to a healthy weight with our help.
Eating right is the first thing that needs to change. If you have an overweight pet, don’t leave a big bowl of dry food out all day long. If they had control of how much they were eating, they wouldn’t be overweight in the first place. And don’t give in if they are standing in front of the food cabinet crying until you feed them. Then it is the pet who is training you instead of vice versa. Giving several small meals over the course of the day works well to keep up the metabolism. Adding water to the food is also helpful to fill up your overweight pet. Besides the right diet, exercise is the key.
For overweight pets, a long (45-minute) walk twice daily will help to take off those extra pounds. A morning walk before breakfast and an evening walk before dinner is very helpful. Even if you have a strictly indoor cat, you can place a harness and leash on your cat and walk around your home. If you have stairs, use them for a really great workout.
Unlike people and dogs, cats must eat everyday and lose weight very slowly to prevent a serious disease from developing. It is called a fatty liver and it is very important that if you do have an overweight cat, you take the weight off very slowly to help prevent this life-threatening illness from developing.
Losing weight for an overweight pet will help lengthen life expectancy and give your pet a better quality life with less disease. You can help to prevent diabetes, arthritis, cancer, liver disease, heart disease just by getting your pet down to a healthy weight!