We all know how important nutrition is to our own overall health. But did you know it is also extremely important for our furry friends?
Keeping your cats and dogs at an optimal weight is not only good for their joints; it is important for their internal health also. Maintaining an optimal weight can ensure their hearts do not need to work as hard, their mental health is better because they are more comfortable, their risk of diabetes is lower, and they are generally happier pets who typically live longer lives.
Facts and Myths about pet nutrition:
Myth: Free feeding my pet is fine; this means leaving food available at all times. They will only eat what they need and leave the rest behind.
Fact: Unless you have a pet with particularly strong will power, free-feeding is not a good idea. Over half of the pet population is overweight or obese, and most pets need to eat a specific amount of food to stay fit and at an optimal weight.
Myth: Diet and “lite” pet foods are better for weight management
Fact: Some pet foods that claim diet and “lite” on the label usually are full of empty calories. These can include additional fibre and certain main ingredients that make them considered “lite” or diet. Those ingredients and the large amounts of excessive carbohydrates can have the opposite effect; they can cause weight gain, poor skin and coat quality as well. A diet made with quality meat proteins, minimal carbohydrates, healthy fats and balanced vitamins and minerals is key to helping your pet stay slim and trim.
Myth: A good quality weight-loss food is all your pet needs for weight loss.
Fact: Much like people your pets need more than just a diet change to shed extra pounds or to maintain a healthy weight. Regular healthy exercise is a must. For your canine friends, daily walks, swimming or a game of fetch are perfect ways to achieve this. For your feline friends, various environmental enrichment works, some ideas are feeding their meals in either a treat ball or a food maze. Please visit our previous blog on environmental enrichment or click here for more ideas on how to get your feline friend active.
If you have any questions, give us a call at 902.443.9385.