It is estimated that more than 50% of dogs and cats in America are overweight or obese. There are several reasons for what has become an incredibly serious issue, leading to potentially life changing diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, dental and heart disease.
Pet food, in many cases, is the culprit. With extremely loose regulations on what ingredients can go in to pet food in our country, we find that many companies load their foods with cheap carbohydrate fillers and not enough high quality proteins. These carbs then break down to sugar, which their body cannot use so it metabolizes to fat. Foods with less than 25% carbohydrates are considered okay. Anything above 25% can lead to issues. Want to know what percent of your cat or dog’s food is carbohydrates? See below for a simple formula.
Food quality isn’t the entire story, however. For many pets, they are simply eating too many calories. What’s the best way to monitor calories? Always use the suggested feeding amounts on your pet’s food label as your guideline. If you feed a combination of foods, such as dry and canned, make sure you are taking into consideration the volume percent. For example, if you want your cat 50% dry food and 50% canned food, look at the feeding guidelines for daily feeding amount and half it on both.
How many calories does my pet need?
10 lbs.=180 to 200 calories
10 lbs.=200 to 275 calories
20 lbs.=325 to 400 calories
50 lbs.=700 to 900 calories
70 lbs.=900 to 1,050 calories
90 lbs.=1,100 to 1,350 calories
To calculate the percentage of carbohydrates in a commercial diet, subtract the percentages of protein, fat, moisture, crude fiber (an indigestible part of carbohydrates), and ash from 100. If ash isn’t listed, use 7% as an average.
Other things to consider are:
-Don’t give in! Begging can be cute, but it can also lead to overweight issues. Offer snacks that are natural and that you can understand the ingredients.
-Most commercial pet treats are equivalent to a bag of potato chips. Count the calories that you’re feeding (adding calories of treats too).
-Add longer or more frequent walks, interactive toys for cats (laser pointers, wand-style toys).
-Introduce food dispensing toys. For dogs we love Kongs. For cats, Slim Cat Treat Ball and Indoor Hunting Feeder by Doc & Phoebe’s are exceptional ways to feed your feline.
Have questions or need help? We offer free nutritional consultation that can help you achieve optimal weight with your pet.