How to Help Your Pet Slim Down

You might be surprised to learn that nearly half of all domesticated dogs and cats are over their recommended weight limits. Are you worried that your own animal companion might need to shed a few excess pounds? Learn what to do as your Ellicott City, MD veterinarian elaborates below.

See the Vet

First things first—pay a visit to your veterinarian’s office to have your pet examined. Your vet will be able to tell you whether or not your pet is indeed overweight, and then you can work together to formulate a tailored diet and exercise plan.

Portion Control

For many pets, simple portion control is all that’s needed to help them shed excess weight and get healthy again. Overfeeding is one of the leading causes of obesity amongst pets! Never free-feed your pet, which means leaving kibble out at all times for your pet to munch on as they please. This is a quick path to obesity. Instead, use measured portions during scheduled mealtimes; ask your vet if you need help.

Diet Changes

In some cases, a pet’s diet simply isn’t up to par with their nutritional requirements. If your pet is receiving a low-budget diet that contains a lot of “filler” material, it’s time for an upgrade. When your pet is eating a high-quality food that contains the right nutrients for his age and breed, his weight will be much easier to manage. Ask your vet for a recommendation on a great dietary choice for your animal companion.


No diet plan is complete without regular exercise. In order to lose weight, your pet will have to get moving on a daily basis. Try taking your companion for brisk walks around the neighborhood; jog in circles around the backyard; play vigorously with your pet’s favorite toy. By giving your pet physical activity several times a day, you’re working off those excess calories and helping return your beloved family member to a healthy weight.

Treat Tips

Do you find yourself giving your pet treats for no real reason? Does your companion receive a lot of fatty table scraps at dinnertime? These tactics aren’t helping with your pet’s weight. Make sure to only give your pet treats as a reward for good behavior or as the occasional indulgence, and limit table scraps as much as possible.

Does your pet need help losing weight? Contact your Ellicott City, MD veterinarian today!

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