Keeping active during this crisis isn’t easy. Socially-distanced walks and indoor toys can help, but more time inside does make pets likelier to pack on pounds. Whether they’re asking for treats out of boredom or you’re offering them as a way to comfort and calm your pet down, it’s important to watch out for weight gain. By turning mealtime into another form of indoor entertainment, you’ll limit their food intake and up the calories they burn.
THE QUARANTINE GUIDE TO WEIGHT CONTROL
SLOW MEALS DOWN
How do you teach a gulper to take their time? By having a little fun. Slow feeder bowls make pets hunt down every bite and interactive feeders only dispense food as they play. The result? Eating slower helps them realize they’re full before they over-eat.
TRAIN BUT DON’T OVER-TREAT
Now dinner comes with a show. Instead of putting food out in a bowl, let your pet earn it by working on commands. Start by measuring out their regular meal. Then every time they perform correctly, reward them with a portion of the food. By training them with their regular complete and balanced diet, you won't throw off their nutritional intake. If your pet's current food isn't quite enough motivation for training, you can swap it out for an especially tasty food like Ziwi Peak or add a couple of low calorie training treats into the mix. But to keep pounds off, make sure that treats make up no more than 10% of their diet.
FREEZE SOMETHING WITH FLAVOR
Does your pet love playing with ice cubes? Make pupsicles out of nutritious bone broth and it will entertain them for ages while adding very few calories to their diet.
CONTROL PORTION SIZE
When your pet is bored and begging for food, it’s hard not to cave and give them more. But automatic food dispensers make the decision for you. They make sure your pet gets the same amount at each meal.
COOK SOMETHING SPECIAL FROM SCRATCH
Time on our hands has left many of us in project mode. One thing you could try is baking low-calorie, high nutrition pet treats. The fresh ingredients will be great for your dog or cat, and a little distraction is good for everyone. Looking for inspiration? Try these recipes from The Honest Kitchen.