How to safely slim your pet in 7 simple steps

Don't wait to begin your dog or cat on their weight loss journey. Follow these simple steps to get started and have a slimmer, healthier and happier pet.
1. Consult your vet
Before putting your pet on a diet, it is important to seek the advice of your veterinary surgeon. Some animals may be obese as a result of a medical condition, certain drugs or rare genetic defects, and therefore it is important to rule out clinical problems beforehand.
2. Don't crash
Regardless of how overweight your pet is, just like humans, cats and dogs should never crash diet, but instead make sustainable changes to the daily routine to promote long-term good health.
3. Slim your pet at a safe rate
A 0.5-2.0% loss of body weight per week is generally safe for dogs. Cats should not lose more than 1% of body weight per week because overly rapid weight loss and / or a sudden decrease of food can cause a serious health condition called hepatic lipidosis. Many practices run free nurse clinics and will be able to help you to weigh your cat or dog, advise of your pet’s optimal weight and help you set smaller, achievable weight loss targets.
4. Gradual dietary changes
Any dietary change (be it a new food or a change to the feeding volume) should be undertaken gradually. This will give the digestive system time to cope with any new ingredients and the new nutrient balance, thus helping to avoid digestive upsets.
5. Don't let them go hungry
Dramatic reductions in food are not recommended because your pet is likely to become very hungry and may start to exhibit antisocial behaviours such as begging and bin raiding.

Feeding too little can be just as harmful as feeding too much, and may result in constipation, energy loss, a slower metabolic rate and even nutrient deficiencies over time.

6. Realistic fitness goals
Although exercise is an important part of obesity management, care must be taken with very obese or unfit animals, particularly if these pets suffer from medical conditions related to their weight. Little and often is the way forward, so make sure you incorporate some time into your pet’s daily routine for exercise or physical fun and games as these are also mentally stimulating.
7. Join our FREE diet club!
If you need a little help getting your pet back down to their ideal weight. We will provide advice, guidance and personalized support to you every step of the way to ensure your pet regains their health and vitality.
Arden Grange offers a range of products for cat and dogs needing to lose weight, including options for pets with particularly sensitive skin and digestions, dietary allergies or intolerances to ingredients within other light diets on the market!

For more help and advice on your individual pet’s requirements from our registered Veterinary Nurse and holder of the Certificate in Canine and Feline Veterinary Health Nutrition, Ness Bird click here.