fat dogYear after year, the number one resolution made (and probably broken) is “lose weight”. Weight loss for humans is pretty complicated, and we couldn’t even begin to give you advice on how to shed your pounds.

For your pets, however, there are two words that sum up everything you need to know to get your dogs and cats back to a healthy weight: diet and exercise. No one wants to admit that the family pet is overweight because she overeats or isn’t active enough. But if you hear yourself saying some of the following, you may need to give yourself a good talking to:

1. “One cup in the morning, and one cup in the evening: that’s it.” We hear a lot of statements in a given week that are just this side of the whole truth. Maybe the cups at their house are bigger than ours; something doesn’t add up! If the regular kibble is truly at a reasonable level, the problem may lie in the treats. It’s very easy to fall into a pattern of rewarding good behavior with Beggin’ Strips, Busy Bones and sausage links, but they add up to too many calories! If you’re not sure about the food, talk to us about Purina OM for your dog.

2. “My cat’s very picky. She only eats…..” Cats can be finicky, but they are natural hunters. Maybe you’ve received offerings of a dead bird or a dead mouse that your cat proudly placed somewhere you’d notice…like the bathroom rug. It’s their not-so-subtle way of letting you know that they really, really like meat. A high protein, low carb diet is best for your kitty. We recommend Purina DM for cats, and cats really love it!

3. “Nah, we don’t need to walk her. She’s in a huge yard all day!” How interesting is the same old space all the time? Dogs are not so different from us in regard to exercise. Keep it fun! A walk around the neighborhood trumps the yard every time. Dogs can easily become couch potatoes when they only dash in and out of the doggie door to do their business. In the wild, a dog would be motivated to either catch prey or avoid becoming prey by running very fast. In a confined area, a dog will stop when he’s tired and fail to get an elevated heart rate for any length of time.

In a word, if we’ve talked to you about your pet’s weight, you need to work “diet” and “exercise” into your vocabulary – and your daily habits. We’re happy to have words with you about a specific plan for your pet. Let us help you and your pet get healthy and happy for the coming year – and beyond.