Now that the end of the pandemic seems to be in sight, we are starting to think about returning to normal activities, our pets included. Getting out more and stretching out legs, we may notice that there’s a little more of our pets than there was in 2019, in a very physical sense.
At the Medical District Veterinary Clinic, we have seen a lot of pets gain weight over the last year as routines and activities changed. I know my dog, Emmie, has definitely got a little thicker. (Having a toddler in the house hasn’t helped Emmie’s weight, either.)
When it comes to pets’ weight loss and healthy weight maintenance, you should know that exercise helps, but what they consume is often more important. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get out there and go for walks, hikes, or trips to the beach with your dog. It’s just that how much you put in their food bowl will help more.
Also remember not to discount the little things. Small snacks add up, especially when you weigh only 11 pounds and need only 225 calories a day. That’s a healthy serving of peanut butter! That little extra snack may not seem like much, but it’s a lot for your pet. Remember that the recommendations on your pet’s food bag assumes that they are getting no other calories.
If you feel like you’re really calorie counting and the scale is going nowhere for your little fluffy, let us know. Some animals need a little extra help in the form of a prescription diet. In the same way that some people have a harder time losing weight, so can pets, and a special diet may help.
Finally, if your dog or cat is losing weight and you haven’t changed their diet or exercise, let us know. Weight loss isn’t always a good thing, and we will make sure they are okay.
Enjoy the rest of summer!
Alyssa Kritzman, DVM