It seems in winter I gain a few pounds. Most animals do, including our companions and I chalk it up to being a seasonal disorder so as not to burden myself with self-incrimination. That’s what I’m sticking with anyway.
There are a number of good ways to take some pounds off our pups and we can start by controlling their food, in other words no ‘free’ feeding but measuring the amount you serve per meal.
One of the best methods is reducing caloric intake is by cutting back a third on their food and substituting with more veggies, like green beans, which most dogs like. Add more veggies than the amount of kibble by just a bit. Canned green beans work well if you buy low-sodium or frozen (thaw before serving) fresh can be lightly steamed for added nutrition. If your dog likes all veggies just try and avoid the starchy ones like potatoes and other roots. These are great nutritionally, but not so much for reducing weight, although an occasional one for variety is fine. Pumpkin added to the diet has good fiber, which helps satisfy and has the added benefit of balancing the gut; great for both diarrhea and constipation.
Then of course comes the exercise. When weather permits take a longer walk, something within reason. No need to try and removed all the excess pounds on the first day, even though that would be great. Personally, I think I should lose three pounds today because I didn’t eat that candy bar yesterday. If only (sigh!). Back to reality.
If it is just too cold outside, devise some indoor activities. Small dogs can race about the house, chasing balls and such. The bigger your companion the more creative you must be, although I never minded my girls racing with each other around the house as long as they had permission to do so and I had breakables tucked away, but to each his own. Another option is the use of a treadmill, designed for dogs with the added safety features. Or consider enrolling her in doggy day care a couple times a week until some weight drops. Take some additional classes during the winter months to keep him active. An available doggy pool is wonderful for winter exercise if you can find one.
All of these work well for your cat also.
You can keep your pup happy and fit and still drops some pounds by adjusting a few things and more than likely, come warmer weather the pounds will drop off, much like it does for us humans.
Now if we could only teach our dogs to portion control OUR food….