Covid-19 has brought many unpleasantries to our daily lives.
One of them, albeit minor, could be extra weight gain for both you and your pet due to spending more time at home. Maybe the weight has been increasing gradually, seemingly unnoticed, for a quite some time. Perhaps you woke up one morning, finding yourself shocked as you took a long, hard look in the mirror or watched in horror as your pet waddled down the hallway.
Either way, it’s important to collectively keep our weight in check and try to lower it if it’s gotten out of hand. Here are a few tips to be proactive about lowering your pet’s weight.
1. Measure his food. Many of us just guess and scoop up some food; but it’s important to parcel out the correct amount and the only way to know is to measure. If your pet eats quickly, obtaining a programmable feeder or other type of slow feeder may help. Make sure you monitor your pet’s food intake if you free feed throughout the day.
2. Extra treats add up. We all love treats — they are often how we reward ourselves and our pets. However, treats can be very high in calories and full of sugar, so your pet isn’t getting the proper nutrition she needs while filling up on empty calories.
If you are using treats to occupy your pet’s time and keep him out of your hair, you may want to offer toys or an interactive treat dispenser so your pet has to work to get the good stuff. Also, pay attention to your use of training treats. These are usually small in size so it’s easy to overlook how many your pet eats.
3. Your exercise routine changed. Especially now, with many people going back to work full-time after spending extra time at home where they regularly walked dogs around the block. Your dog isn’t burning off those extra calories, so you either need to scale back the food or pick up the exercise.
Maybe find some few ways to burn calories. Take a jog together, throw sticks or frisbees, or become a member of the Kevin G. Bills Memorial Dog Park (located at MHS) and watch your dog play and interact with other dogs.
Don’t forget that your cat needs exercise too. Drag a string around the house; take a laser light up and down the stairs, grab some new feathered toys and watch your cat go wild.
4. Good in — Good out. Look at the ingredient list on your pet’s food. Low quality food can cause weight gain, as well as a host of other problems. There are many pet food options out there.
Talk to your veterinarian about specific nutritional needs of your pet. Along the same line, you might need to feed your pet a prescription food to control weight, or to address a unique ailment.
5. Be wary of human food. Your pet (most likely your dog) might be your first dishwasher. Pets often gets scraps of this and that. But, all those extra nibbles, ends of hotdogs and tips of ice cream cones add up in a big way.
Human food is not always a bad thing, if you pick the right kind and feed it in moderate amounts. If you give your dog an egg that is 70 calories, you may want to deduct those calories from his daily amount. Try fresh fruits or steamed vegetables to add nutritional benefit, without lots of extra calories. Just make sure whatever “people” food you are serving is okay for them to eat.
MHS Pets of the Week are brought to you by Petersen Law, PLLC:
Meet Cooper, a 3-year-old neutered male Corgi mix who arrived as a stray. Cooper is a sweet, but shy guy looking to join a quiet home. He needs some time to warm up, but it isn’t long before he is your new best friend.
He’s a laid-back guy who doesn’t seem to be overly active and we think he would fit in with almost any family, including one with kids and other animals.
Prince is an adorable 2-month-old neutered male domestic short hair. Anakin is a 2-year-old neutered male Pointer mix. This boy is the life of the party! He is full of energy, loves to play, and is full of potential.
Anakin will make a great adventure buddy for an owner who can provide regular exercise. We think he will fit in with a home that has kids at least 8 years or older.
Little Buddy is an 11-month-old neutered male domestic medium hair, who might need an owner willing provide grooming sessions to keep his pretty locks in good shape.
Set up an appointment to visit these great pets and all their friends!
We are open Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Monday through Friday noon to 6 p.m. Adoptable animals can be viewed on our website at www.midlandshumanesociety.org.
Please call 712-396-2270 to make an appointment to meet ones you might be interested in making a part of your family.