Pet Weight Management: Balancing Diet, Exercise, and Supplements

Furlicks . @ 2023-10-04 11:42:25 +0530

Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for the overall well-being of our beloved pets. Just like humans, pets can also face weight-related issues that can impact their quality of life. Whether it's excessive weight gain or obesity, finding the right balance between diet, exercise, and supplements is key to promoting their health and vitality. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of pet weight management, uncover practical tips to achieve a healthy weight, and delve into the role of proper nutrition, regular physical activity, and beneficial pet supplements in maintaining their well-being. So let's embark on a journey to help our furry friends lead happier, healthier lives through effective weight management strategies. 

Obesity in Pets

Obesity in pets occurs when their body weight exceeds the ideal range for their breed and size, resulting in an accumulation of excess fat. More than 20% of fat in the body is regarded as obesity. Just like in humans, obesity in pets can lead to a variety of health problems, including osteoarthritis, hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus, and reduced life expectancy. Contributing factors to pet obesity include overfeeding, a lack of physical activity, and an imbalanced diet. It's crucial for pet owners to be aware of the detrimental effects of obesity and take proactive measures to manage their pet's weight effectively. 

Prevention is Better Than Cure 

Managing pet weight is way easier than treating obesity. Hence, you should make efforts to keep your pet’s weight under control to prevent obesity in the future. 

So, what causes obesity in the first place? 

1. Pet owner’s behavior 

One of the main causes of obesity is overeating. Human pet parents tend to feed their pets too much pet food, increasing the difference between energy consumed and energy used. Another factor is that pet parents may not exercise their pets very well. It is easy for you to assume that your pet moves a lot and is getting a lot of exercise, but they might actually require some targeted daily exercise that can affect their weight, heart health, and mood.

2. Old Age 

As your pets age their digestive system weakens and metabolism reduces. But due to the challenges their old body faces on a daily basis, their energy requirements increase making them crave more food. Coupled with joint pain issues, your pet is highly likely to become obese. 

3. Genetics 

Genetics plays a significant role in causing obesity. Certain breeds are more likely to become obese despite proper exercise and diet, for example, Labradors. This suggests that certain genetic factors can predispose pets to gain weight and store fat more easily. While genetics alone may not determine obesity, they interact with environmental factors such as diet and physical activity. Specific genes can influence appetite regulation, metabolism, and fat storage, making some pets more susceptible to weight gain. 

2 ways to manage weight efficiently 

Obesity, or weight gain, happens when you have a positive energy balance. Which means that when the amount of energy your pet consumes from food is more than the energy that it is spending, this imbalance leads to obesity and weight gain. To restore this balance, you need to do only two things:

1. Control Their Diet

A balanced diet for pets should have more protein. Protein not only provides the energy necessary to support their daily activity levels but also plays a crucial role in various bodily functions. Opt for premium-quality meats that encompass all ten essential amino acids, ensuring that your pets receive the complete nutrition they need.

Make sure your pet has some fruits or vegetables to get all the vitamins and minerals it needs. If your floof is a picky eater, you could try using some multivitamin tablets to fill these nutritional gaps. 

Fats? Yes, they do need fats– the good ones. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are great for the health of their skin and coat and should be included in their diet. 

Lastly, we need some fiber and probiotics to improve digestion, which will further increase their metabolism. 

Give them all of it in proportions that are suitable for their size and age. Never feed them only meat or only dry pet food. Always have a mixture of all to give them all the necessary nutrients. 

You also need to control their portion size. Give them three good meals throughout the day, and don’t let them overeat at a time. 

You can also train your pet to eat only at certain times of the day to avoid overindulging in food. 

If your floof is overweight, you might want to reduce the calorie intake by following a diet plan. You can get in touch with your vet to design a diet plan that’s tailored to your pet’s breed, weight goals, eating habits, and level of exercise.

2. Increase their exercise duration 

Set aside a portion of your daily routine to engage in a walk with your pet or spend quality playtime together in your garden. Regular pet exercise is of utmost importance for your pet's well-being, serving not only to manage their weight but also to uphold their mental and bone health. 

You can get different toys that make it easier for you to keep your pets active throughout the day. 

Support your pet weight management efforts with pet supplements 

Dietary supplements for pets can play a supportive role in weight management when used under the guidance of a veterinarian. These supplements are not meant to replace a balanced diet but can complement it in various ways to aid in weight management.

1. Multivitamins: In calorie-restricted diets for overweight pets, nutrient deficiencies may occur. Pet supplements can help ensure that essential vitamins and minerals are still provided in adequate amounts to maintain overall health.

2. Gut Health: Probiotic supplements may aid in digestion and gut health, which can be especially important when changing a pet's diet as part of a weight management plan. Besides, good gut health implies good digestion, which is a must to keep their weight in check. 

3. Joint Health: For obese pets, joint health can be a concern due to the extra strain on their joints. MSM and chondroitin pet supplements can support joint health and mobility, making it easier for overweight pets to engage in physical activity.

Wrapping Up 

We all love chonky dogs and cats. They are the best for a little cuddle session. But being overweight can actually be very uncomfortable for your pets. As pet parents, it’s your job to keep an eye on your pet’s changing physique and act quickly in response. Obesity is scary but can be prevented if you act fast.