Pet Weight Loss Tips from our River Vale Vet

Helping your dog lose weight can be a challenge, but it is so important to keep them physically fit. Not only will your pet feel better at their proper weight, their health will be better for it. Managing your pet's weight can help save a lot of money on future vet bills and prevent a wide range of pet health problems. Check out these tips from our River Vale Vet to help you manage your pet's weight loss journey. 
Every pet's ideal weight is based on their age, breed, size, and specific health needs. The first step to getting your pet healthy is to get them a proper check-up. Our River Vale vet can give your pet a full evaluation to help identify any underlying health issues before making any lifestyle changes. We can run some diagnostic testing to make sure your pet is healthy and talk to you about their current diet and exercise routine. From there, we can make some suggestions on nutrients your pet may be lacking or simple diet changes that could make a big impact. You always want to talk to our team before making any significant changes to your pet's diet or exercise. Too much of a change too quickly can cause issues for your dog. 
There are some areas of your pet's lifestyle that you'll need to evaluate in order for them to safely lose weight. These areas include:
-Caloric deficit
-Fiber intake
-Exercise habits
Your pet's caloric needs depend on their specific size, age, and breed. If your pet is on a weight loss journey, they will need to burn more calories than they consume. They also need to eat plenty of fiber throughout the day to promote digestion. You should also focus on a high protein, low carb diet. Of course, you should talk to our veterinarian before making a dramatic change to your pet's diet. It is common for commercial pet foods to contain a lot of fillers that provide your pet with calories but no nutrition. You'll need to work with our River Vale vet to find a nutrient-dense food that can provide your pet with a lot of fiber and protein without excess carbs. You should also check out the ingredients in their treats to make sure you aren't sabotaging their progress. Try finding healthy snacks like apple pieces or veggies that can provide your pet with added nutrients. You can also try rewarding them with toys or play time rather than constantly rewarding them with food.
Keep your pet's water bowl filled at all times so that they can stay properly hydrated. Your pet needs water to have proper bowel movements. If your pet doesn't like to drink water, try adding wet food to their kibble. This can help provide them with some extra water and help to pass food through their digestive system. 
Your pet absolutely needs daily exercise to help them lose weight. Try to get your pet at least one hour of exercise every day. Spread it out all day to help them get their energy out while also helping to promote weight loss. Make exercise fun by turning it into an opportunity to bond! Do new activities like hiking, going on walks in new environments, or even swimming in a kiddie pool! Find new ways to get your pet active and engaged so that they can lose weight without even realizing they're putting the work in.
Some animals may have underlying health issues that can impact their weight, or that may require them to lose weight. These may include diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, joint injuries, high blood pressure, or cancer. If your pet is showing signs of distress or if they are behaving abnormally, you should bring them in for a visit. We can help diagnose your pet properly and provide a weight loss plan to suit their specific needs. Call our office to schedule your pet's next wellness checkup.