Feeding guidelines for pet weight management

The information below was written by your Bigger Road staff.
See more original content from Bigger Road.
Last updated June 20, 2014

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Customized feeding plan

A feeding plan customized for your pet helps ensure weight loss success

If you have tried to help your pet lose weight in the past without success, you know it is not as easy as it appears. Pet weight loss is rarely so simple as switching to a weight management diet.

We know there are many important considerations for successful weight management, and we are here to help! The nutrition tools we provide to clients give a feeding plan tailored to each pet’s specific needs, to help ensure successful weight loss and maintenance. Ask about it at your next appointment!

Questions? Call or contact us online anytime!

All diets are different!

There is no standard nutritional profile for foods labeled “Light,” “Weight Management,” or “Healthy Weight.” These diets are all over the map in terms of calorie, fat, and protein content.

Some diets labeled for weight management have drastically reduced calories, while others actually have higher caloric density than most regular diets! 

Some diets labeled for weight management have drastically reduced calories, while others actually have higher caloric density than most regular diets!

It is easy to under- or over-feed if you are not familiar with the diet you are using and your pet’s individual energy requirements.

Another consideration: when your pet’s caloric intake is reduced in order to promote weight management, protein and nutrient intake is reduced accordingly. Some diets, particularly those not formulated for weight management, may not provide your pet with sufficient protein and other nutrients to support good health.

If your pet requires significant calorie reduction, special care must be taken to select a diet that will still provide sufficient protein and other nutrients. We can help with this! Please Call or contact us online.

All pets are different!

Your pet’s energy requirements are not the same as every other pet with the same body weight! Medical conditions, body condition, and predisposition to obesity vary among pets, and this can have a significant impact on the degree of calorie reduction your pet requires in order to lose weight, or to maintain a healthy weight.

If you are struggling with managing your pet’s weight, a thorough examination by your veterinarian can help. Regular laboratory testing will also uncover medical conditions that affect weight and may require a different approach to weight management.

Watch those treats!

Most commercial treats are high in calories, are meant only for occasional feeding, and are not appropriate for weight management…

Many people are shocked when they learn how many calories their pet takes in each day from treats alone. Most commercial treats are high in calories, are meant only for occasional feeding, and are not appropriate for weight management in the quantity a pet typically receives.

Consider replacing your pet’s regular treats with training-style treats, many of which are low in calories (3-5 kcals per treat) but have a potent scent and flavor.

Some of the healthy human foods you eat also make great low-cal pet treats. Carrots, green beans, blueberries, and many other fruits and vegetables are highly palatable to pets and add minimal calories to the diet. Learn about these super “people” foods for pets!

Super "people" foods for pets

Learn about super “people” foods for pets!

(Note: Avoid avocados, grapes, raisins, fruits and vegetables with seeds or pits, or anything else not specifically listed as pet-friendly. Call or contact us online anytime with questions about human foods for your pets.)

Shut the door!

If you are a multiple-pet family… it is essential that pets be fed separately.

If you are a multiple-pet family, helping one pet to lose weight becomes even more challenging. However, it is essential that pets be fed separately. A pet with free access to other pets’ food or treats will not lose weight.

Putting it all together

Bigger Road has developed a comprehensive set of nutrition tools to help our clients and patients manage weight successfully. A solid weight management plan that supports your pet’s best overall health will be highly individualized. It is also important to monitor changes in your pet’s weight and body condition, and adjust the plan accordingly.

That’s why we encourage you to discuss concerns about your pet’s weight with your veterinarian, and talk to us regularly about your pet’s progress. Call or contact us online any time. We are here to help!