A shocking estimate of 50% of pets in the United States are overweight or obese. What can we as pet owners do about this issue? Even if your pet is underweight, here is a beneficial solution to regulating your furry companion's diet: simply give him or her smaller, more frequent meals.
That being said, the question, "How often should I feed my pet?" depends on the size, age, health, and weight of your pet. For example, in the case of a Toy Breed puppy that is very active, still growing, and slightly underweight, he or she will need frequent, small meals to keep him or her energized and healthy. Whether overweight or underweight, the best method to getting your pet's weight back on track is to not rush them towards their "goal weight" too quickly. In fact, it is much more beneficial to feed them in smaller, scheduled doses each day so their stomach is never completely empty and they don't feel hungry for long periods of time. A good way to gradually introduce this technique is to reward them their small meals or treats after engaging them in their favorite activity, such as:
- Playing fetch
- Hide and seek
- Playing with a favorite toy
Reward your furry companion for their hard work and train them to enjoy being active. By introducing frequent, small meals, you may start to notice them whine less for food. As always, ask your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns about your pet's health and diet. While feeding your pet frequent, small meals is a good way to keep your pet's weight and health on track, recall that every pet is different. If you are unsure of how often your pet needs to eat, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian at Countryside Vets to discuss creating a feeding plan for your pet.