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New Year’s Petsolution: Portion Control

Just because your pet eats it, doesn't mean he's hungry! Many vets will recommend feeding a cat or dog at least twice a day and checking with the label on the packaging for portion guidelines based on your pet's weight. Although my pup scarfs down all his food in seconds, my vet did mention that I should remove any unfinished portions after 20 minutes to prevent him from overeating from the trough.

Now, you usually have a clue if you have an overweight pet (rounded belly, bulging in the back, etc.), but you may not know what to do about it. Check with your vet about weight-loss and fitness regimes to get a healthy start to our final 2008 petsolution. An easy first step is to limit those treats! Consider it like the difference between you eating a slice of pizza . . . and a whole pizza. If the doggie treat is large, break it up to make several different rewards instead of feeding all at once. Or, when training a pet, considering rewarding with a piece of pet food instead. Coupled with a fitness routine and your vet's recommendations, you can have a slim, trim pet by '09!


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almostloli almostloli 9 years
my golden lab eats so much he got so fat
javsmav javsmav 9 years
Sassafras has been on a diet for years. He's lost some weight though--portion control is key.
amers230 amers230 9 years
we've always just left a bowl of dry food down for our two dogs and it's worked out alright. we only fill it every day or day and a half. our big dog is a little overweight but that's probably more due to the fact that we feed both of them table scraps (bad owners i know :( )
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
Aarrgh one of my bunnies gained soo much weight over thanksgiving because my sitter just did NOT believe me that just because it seemed like he could eat his weight in pellets he didn't need to! He is really cute and convincing! Anyway, I feed him twice a day because then at least he has 2x day to look forward to eating! With bunnies you give them unlimited hay...but he still goes crazy over his pellets!
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 9 years
I feed my cats half of a 3-oz can (each) four times a day and leave dry food out always. They have NEVER been above their healthy weight limit. It depends mostly on the type of food. Dry food only is likely to cause obesity and a number of other health issues. The canned food has to be high quality. This is a good place to find a variety of super-premium pet foods: Vets aren't the best people to find out about nutrition from because they aren't nutritionists. Nutrition isn't part of their curriculum, and most likely their only information comes from the people who sell them the crappy Science Diet stuff most of them sell.
Phasekitty Phasekitty 9 years
I'm glad to hear that my pup's not the only dog who scarfs his food right down. In the first few days we had him, we thought the poor dog was starved because he'd cry when I restrained him while I made his food (if I didn't restrain him he jumped up on me and barked while I made it). After some training he now sits and waits for me to tell him to go eat, but it's still gone in a second. Pretty soon we figured out it's not that he's starving, he just LOVES food. The funniest was when we brought him to family's houses for the holidays and he walked around eating all the other dogs food because everyone's dogs that I know don't eat all their food right away!
macgirl macgirl 9 years
my chihuahua mix wasn't eating his food when we put it out in the morning.. so at some point the tripod would decide she would eat it. We started giving him much smaller portions and now he attacks his little bowl and eats it all. He gets a tiny bit in the am and a tiny bit at night. He stays interested, she doesn't get fat eating his food plus hers. It's a win/win.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
My poor kittens hate me because we only feed them twice a day. It takes all my restraint to not feed them more or to feed them little treats. On the flip side I always get sad when I see obese pets so it keeps me sticking to my guns!
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
My dog lost weight when I fed him twice a day instead of just leaving the whole bowl out for him to eat when he was hungry. It speeds up their metabolism.
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