The Essential Guide to Maintaining Your Pet's Optimal Health and Weight

Amanda Nascimento, DVM, PhD

Dr. Amanda Nascimento, nutrition intern for the Hill's Pet Health and Nutrition Center, provides an essential guide to help you give your pet their best life!

First, prioritize your beloved companion's health by scheduling regular check-ups with your trusted veterinarian. These visits are a crucial part of keeping your pet in peak condition, as your vet will monitor their weight and overall well-being.

Nutrition tips:

  • Prevent overfeeding. Ensure you're serving the right amount of food by adhering to the feeding guidelines provided by your pet's food manufacturer. For accuracy, utilize measuring cups or a scale to serve precisely portioned meals. This precision helps prevent the risk of overfeeding.
  • High quality ingredients. Elevate your companion's diet to the highest standards by selecting premium pet food tailored to their age, breed, and activity level. It's like providing a personalized menu to cater to their unique nutritional needs.
  • Treats in moderation. Treats are delightful, but it's vital to enjoy them in moderation. Opt for healthier, low-calorie treat options or utilize small portions of your furry friend's regular food during training sessions.
  • Establish a routine. Transform mealtime into an organized event by establishing specific mealtimes instead of free feeding. This approach helps you maintain control over portion sizes and monitor your furry friend's food intake effectively.
  • Monitor their health. Take charge of your pet's health by consistently monitoring their weight and overall body condition. Should you notice any significant changes, promptly seek advice from your veterinarian.
  • Introduce changes gradually. When introducing dietary changes, proceed with a gradual transition to minimize the risk of digestive discomfort.
  • No human food. Resist the urge to share human food with your furry companion, as it can be calorie-dense, potentially toxic, and unsuitable for their dietary needs.
  • Access to fresh water. Ensure your pet has continuous access to fresh water to maintain their well-being and hydration.

Exercise and engagement:

  • Keep your dog and cat physically active with suitable exercise routines aligned with their age and breed. Regular activity ensures they stay fit and agile.
  • Nurture your companion's mental well-being with engaging interactive toys and puzzles. This mental exercise contributes to their overall happiness and contentment.
  • Maintain a steady routine for feeding and exercise to provide your dog and cat with a sense of security and predictability.

Additional weight and behavorial management:

  • If your pet is overweight or gains weight easily, choose a low-calorie diet, as it can be highly effective in helping pets shed excess pounds and maintain a healthy weight. Premium pet food brands often offer specialized formulas for weight management, which are typically lower in calories and fat while still providing essential nutrients. These foods are carefully balanced to help your pet feel full and satisfied, so your furry friend can lose weight gradually and safely.
  • Should emotional factors contribute to your furry friend's weight concerns, consult a professional animal behaviorist or trainer for guidance and assistance.

Last, but definitely not least:

Continue the commitment to your companion's health by scheduling regular check-ups with your veterinarian. These appointments provide opportunities to assess progress and make necessary adjustments to their weight management plan.

  • If your companion is carrying excess weight, collaborate closely with your veterinarian to establish a safe and effective weight loss plan. Our Veterinary Healthy Center proudly offers a specialized Healthy Weight Clinic dedicated to helping your dog or cat achieve their ideal weight.