A recent study has shown that almost 50% of pets in America are overweight or obese. Just like humans, being overweight or obese can cause serious health problems and risks. Here's a how-to article on how to slim your pet down to a healthy weight.
Take your pet to a veterinarian. It's important you do this before starting any diet plan because the veterinarian can also look for other underlying problems that may be affected during your pet's diet, like diabetes, joint problems, ect. It is also possible that your pet could be gaining weight from another medical problem, so it's important that you check with a proper veterinarian and have them give you the okay to start your pet on a diet.
Find food that's healthy for your specific to eat on a diet. The reason the word 'healthy' is stressed so much is because it's not only important for your pet to come down to a healthy weight, but it's also very important that they do it in a healthy manner. Some foods may not provide all the nutrients your pet's body needs to maintain properly; You can discuss this with your veterinarian about what diet would be good for your specific pet.
No cheating! Make sure you don't give extra treats to your pet, this will set them back on your goal for them to lose weight.
Exercise your pets. This doesn't mean push them so hard that they're about to pass out. Take it slow and go on gradually from there. Take you dog out for a walk or play fetch with him. For cats, you could probably find a toy to help them move around more and play with them. For any other pets, you'll need to discuss this with your veterinarian.
Keep at it and don't lose faith! If it doesn't seem like your pet is losing weight, don't get upset and throw the diet and everything out the window; Be persistent.
Go in for a check-up. Every couple of months, take your pet to the veterinarian to be re-evaluated. The veterinarian will tell you if you're doing the right thing and whether or not to keep going with the diet.
Water is every body's friend! Make sure your pet always has a clean supply they can drink from.
Exercise right along with your pet if you desire. Go for a jog or bike-ride with your dog.
Toss the treat across the room for your dog, rather than simply handing the treat to her, so she will get some exercise.
Ask your veterinarian for guidance about treats. Many dogs like carrots, peas, apples and other low calorie, low fat foods.
Give your dog a tiny piece of treat. The treat will probably be only a "flavor going by her taste buds" so a small piece will be almost the same as a larger piece.
Don't over-work your pet.
Don't starve your pet. Not only is this unhealthy, but it's cruel and harsh on your pet.
Cats, especially overweight ones, can die if they stop eating for several days. Talk with your veterinarian about "fatty liver disease" before reducing your cat's food, or if your cat stops eating for any reason.
Be certain that your pet truly has too much fat, and is not suffering from another condition (such as heart disease) that makes her appear overweight. Some conditions cause a pet to retain fluids, but the pet is not obese.