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Readers Respond: Top Diet and Exercise Tips for Pets

Responses: 12

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You recognize that your pet is overweight. Your vet has sent home a diet and exercise plan for your pet. That said, old habits and patterns can be hard to break. What worked for your pet to break those snack-consuming, couch potato habits? How did you get (and keep) your pet on the road to fitness?

Earlier, my friends on Twitter shared some of their healthy pet diet and fitness tips.

Please post your thoughts and experiences here. Think of this as your own mini-article. Please note: questions or responses to others cannot be published. All entries are moderated prior to appearing live on the site.

Share what worked for you

miss chubby

When took in my stray cat,she was severely under-weight & heavily pregnant.It took at least 3 months to get her digestion bak 2 normal (lots of fresh cooked chicken breast ) & a gd healthy weight.After she was speyed she put on a bit of weight & her tendency to overeat (prob from starving when she lived on th street. Now I have a chubby cat,so I'm. cutting right down on dry bikkies,wet carbs only allowed for breakfast & plain tuna & salmon at nite.Will report on how it goes :)
—Guest Wendy

EyeBastet

My (then) husband and I took in a litter of abandoned kittens 14 yrs ago. They passed away in order of weight, thinnest first at 10 yrs. old. The heaviest is still alive and kicking at 14 1/2 years young. I know this is the exception to the rule.
—Guest Donna

Only give the cat can food

If you want your cat to lose wight only food it can food 2 time a day it help my cat when i first got my cat her wight was 20 in three years she has lost 6 bonds she was lost from eating can food only.
—Guest Gris

The secret is in exercise

We've always dealt with weight problems by adjusting the exercise regime. Of course portion control makes good sense. I believe it's important not to take the dieting too far; just makes the body to hold on to every bit. Instead, increasing exercise increases metabolism. Our late rescue was severely obese. We fed him "normal" portion of normal food but introduced him to our walk regime. Took a bit of time but he lost a whole lot of fat and gained muscle. Muscle, btw, takes a more energy to maintain by just being there. So I believe, that getting off the couch and out with the dogs is the best answer. Good nutrition and lots of exercise. Not as many carbs! Good protein and fats. Our guys are in tip top shape, even Jasmine who is 8.5 years old and went through all kinds of health issues. She is all muscle.
—Guest DawgBlogger

Exercise

One thing about dieting - it slows down the metabolism, it gets the body to store-up. Wherever possible, less dieting, more exercise. As far as food itself goes, good quality food in reasonable amounts. I would stay away from low fat diets; low fat = more carbs, not really a solution.
—Guest DawgBlogger

Golder Retriever 12 LBS lighter

My Reba weighted 83 lbs. I switched her from Milk Bone treats to Pup Corn treats and cut her kibble from 1 c to 1/2 c twice a day. I always add green beans and whatever veggies we are eating to her food and a couple of times a week she get a hamburger patty or a can of sardines. Along with walking every day it has gotten her to 71 LBS and we are starting agility classes.
—Guest Jan

What not to feed your dog...

I would never recommend Vet food, such as Medical or Science Diet for your pet
—Guest dawgdaze

Slimming down...

We cut down on the dry dog food alittle & add frozen green beans to help our dogs lose those few pounds if they look alittle chunky. But, we ALWAYS walk them daily.
—rhopple

Many dogs don't do well when fed ad lib

Regarding feeding ad libitum: "if started when the pet is a puppy or kitten, they learn to only eat when they are hungry." This may be true for SOME dogs, but many dogs will eat whatever you put in front of them even when they are not hungry (some breeds are especially known for this, which is why you regularly see fat labs and beagles, to name a couple). If your dog can maintain a healthy weight when fed ad lib, fine, but many can't. In that case, measured meals 2 times per day are a better option. It also makes their bowel movements more predictable so they won't have to poop several times a day (most will just poop twice, once after each "meal").
—Guest Sara P

Overweight Cat: tips for eating raw

1) I pour tiny bit of tuna water on top of raw/wet food mixture to encourage eating up! 2) My social kitty prefers my company in the kitchen - making coffee or whatever...he wants to eat breakfast WITH me, I guess. He eats up better if I'm there. 3) To further encourage newer, raw food diet, I coo - coo to him and finger feed a few licks, saying, "oh, you're so good, you're my baby," while scratiching his neck..behavior modification: associating raw food with getting other 'good stuff!"
—MissJanesPets

JAY

Walking your dog will help you, too. Always watch how you feed him and don't give him junk food - this will make him fatter.
—SHRIEY

Hydrotherapy Getting Pups Back in Shape

Hydrotherapy has only become available for dogs in recent years and is a rehabilitation program that allows dogs to exercise in water. The fluid environment gives them greater support to minimize stress on their joints, while at the same time creating enough resistance so that they can exercise their muscles.
—graingers79

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Top Diet and Exercise Tips for Pets

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