Due to today’s packaged foods that are high in sugars, sodium and other fillers, many pet owners may find themselves with an obese pet. Lack of exercise and balanced diet are typically the causes of animal obesity. On the other side of the coin, high-energy dogs, sporting breeds and working dogs may exceed their nutritional intake, causing them to lose weight. When your pet has become too thin or skinny, there are some tips on improving the health and body condition of your pet.
- Always begin by having your veterinarian rule out medical causes for your skinny dog or cat. This can include gastrointestical problems or parasites
- Read the label of your pet’s current food. Are you feeding according to the direction of your pet’s body weight? Pet foods include feeding instructions based on the size of your dog. Ensure you are feeding enough per day
- Pet foods are not created equal. Pet foods that are high in soy, grains and corn are not as digestible. Meat such as fish are high in essential fatty acids that will not only help your pet’s weight but improve his coat as well
- Genetic factors play a part in a pet’s weight. Some breeds of dog or cat tend to be naturally lean, so make sure you have discussed the optimal weight for your pet with your veterinarian’s input
There are products sold at pet stores that are advertised to help your pet gain weight in the form of food additives or chew toys, but always discuss these options with your veterinarian first to avoid a dietary conflict with his or her existing food.
If you are uncertain whether your pet is too thin or obese, talk to your veterinarian about coming up with a plan to improve your pet’s health. Pet owners can read this illustrated description of body condition scoring for cats and dogs.