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Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM

Pet Dieting Tips From Viewers

By February 22, 2012

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Fat tabby cat  Else esq. on FlickrRecognizing when a pet is overweight is the first step toward getting fit and living a healthier life. Just like their human counterparts, overweight pets are more prone to heart and joint problems, diabetes and even an increased risk for some cancers.

Viewers have met my friend's cat, Oliver, and learned about diet and exercise for cats. Franny Syufy, Guide to Cats, joined us by documenting her cats, Jaspurr and Billy, and what they are doing for feline weight management.

Read more:

In addition to these resources, I wanted to add in a couple viewer tips from Twitter conversations.

  • From @roxannehawn: "Measure the food portions. When it seems ours have gained weight, I go back to measuring." I think that this is good advice, both for people and for pets.
  • Another one from @roxannehawn: "Another idea we use ... put Cheerios in food delivery toys (like tug-a-jug). Our dogs are just as happy, less calories."

Pet treats, just like human treats often do have much higher calorie, sugar and fat levels. A low-fat alternative is a great way to keep your pet occupied and satisfied. Check with your vet for additional ideas if your pet has special food requirements or sensitivities.

Thanks for sharing these pet health tips.

Please share your tips for keeping your pet fit and healthy
If you have any tips that you would like to add, please submit them to the new Readers Respond section: pet diet and exercise tips page.

Photo credit: Fat tabby cat Else esq. on Flickr

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June 5, 2013 at 4:57 pm
(1) Diane says:

My 6 yr. old chihuahua is at least 5 lbs. overweight. She has a terminal disease, GME. The brain is attacked and slowly deteriorates. Prednisone is used to control the disease. One of the many side effects is increased appetite. When she was first diagnosed 1 yr. ago she weighed 5 lbs. She now weighs 10 lbs. I can’t stand the idea of her feeling hungry. She’s lost the use of her hind legs due to muscle wasting from the pred. If I support her belly on either side while walking behind her she is able to walk but has to stop frequently to catch her breath.
I realize I did this to her and want to help her loose some weight. Because of her impaired physical state she can only exercise minimally. I used to feed her 3-4x’s a day. She is always hungry. I’ve cut back to 2x’s. I give her beef bones to chew also. She’s not begging for food when she’s chewing on a bone. Any helpful suggestions would be appreciated.

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