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Avoiding Holiday Pet Weight Gain

It’s easy for humans to put on  few extra  pounds during the holidays. But this is also a time of the year when pet’s tend to gain some weight as you or guests sneak them a few extra treats or get off schedule with their exercise. For your four-legged friend just a 1 or 2 pound gain can actually be a large percentage of their overall body weight and have a big impact on their health. Think about it, if your 20 pound dog gains 2 pounds that 10 percent of their overall body weight. For an average woman, a 10 percent weight gain could be upwards of 14 pounds.That’s a lot of extra poundage to be carrying around.

Here are some ways to be sure your pet enjoys the holidays and stays healthy all year round:

No feeding from the table - This might be a rule for your and your family, but guests often can’t resist sneaking one small bit to Fido or Fifi when they attend a gathering at your house. Be sure to clearly inform your guests that they shouldn’t give your pet food. If you explain that it might be a health risk rather than you are somehow depriving your pet, your guests should grasp the consequences and follow the rules.

Put pets out of sight - If you are worried that your pet might beg or even just be too cute for Aunt Betty to resist slipping a treat to, then make sure your pet is in another room when the family sits down to eat.

Control treats - The calories in treats can add up. Factor your pet's treats into their daily food intake. Treats should only make up about 10 percent of your pet's caloric intake.

Count calories - Ask your vet about the proper calorie intake for your pet. They will take a lot of factors into consideration including your pet’s size, age, activity level and overall health. Once you have that calorie amount you can portion out your pet’s food accordingly. It’s always a good idea to measure rather just free pouring.

Swap out high-calorie snacks  - Consider healthier options such as apples, carrots, bananas, or homemade treats. They provide great nutrition and can also help your pet feel fuller without all the extra calories and processed ingredients.

Be more active - The holidays are hectic and you might be off your regular schedule and neglecting walks and playtime with your pet. Be sure to stick to your normal walk schedule and include some extra playtime activities. The cold weather might means your pet is less active and it’s important to get them to move around as much as possible - even if it’s in the house.

Make pets work for treats - If you want to give your pet an extra treat consider using a toy that lets you put the treat inside, That way, your pet will have to work to get the treat and burn off calories doing so.

IdealPetX.com is committed to the health and well-being of your cats and dogs and helping you be the best pet parent you can be.
IdealPetX Staff
IdealPetX Staff

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