Dr. Marshall’s Blog

Weight control is hard for everyone, our pets included. But a few painless changes in feeding your friend can cause dramatic results. For example, understand that dry pet food is dehydrated food. In it’s original state it 2-3 times greater in volume. That means, if you re-hydrate that food with liquid (low salt broth, water) prior to feeding it, your pet will be getting more, without the calories of feeding a larger amount. That way your friend will feel more satisfied and full at mealtime.

Just like with us, treats are often the culprit responsible for weight gain. Personally, life is not good without treats. Therefore, you just need to realize how many calories these treats contain and give something healthier.

I am not a health food nut, but I know our bodies are not set up to process fake ingredients in our food. Fake colors, fake flavors and chemicals that you can’t easily identify are not what we or our pets should be eating. We should be eating natural things because we are made up of natural things.. So our treats should be the same. Lower calorie snacks like green beans, carrots and meats are great options. You can find dehydrated meats and vegetables in the pet stores. Just do not feed anything from China! Their processing of pet treats adds a toxic chemical that has been implicated in the deaths of many dogs. Look for the American flag on the bag. If you don’t see it, look for the product’s origin. (It will be in very small letters somewhere on the bag). Rawhides from Central or South America are safe.. Popsicles made from low salt chicken or beef broth are tasty in the summer instead of ice cream.

DYK? A whopping 45 percent of all U.S. pets are overweight or obese. While the best treatment is prevention, it’s never too late to help your pet stay in better shape.

If you have a talented beggar that you can’t resist sharing your dinner with, move them to another room with a chewie or toy stuffed with a treat that will occupy them. Begging for food can easily be diverted to giving your friend attention like a tummy rub or a walk instead.

Speaking of walks- what a great pastime and means to keep you and them healthy. For weight loss, exercise is a must. You can’t easily walk off a lot of calories at one time, but you can build muscle and increase the metabolism that will use up more calories when at rest.. Movement also keeps our joints strong and less prone to arthritis later in life. The walks will not only give your pet much needed exercise, but also mental stimulation. You can entertain yourself with music, conversation, the computer or television. Your best friend is limited to your whim. Dog’s love nothing better than to sniff out who has been out and about. They love the smell of fresh air. Your cat needs the same stimulation with predator play and games. This will keep them happier and less food motivated. A win-win situation for everyone!


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