- Check your pet’s weight regularly. You can check your pet’s weight at home by gently running your fingers along their rib cage. At a healthy weight, their ribs should be felt easily and have a thin, silky layer of skin moving over them. If you feel your pet is overweight, make an appointment with your vet to discuss an appropriate action plan. You can read more about how to conduct the “feel test” here.
- Portion control. Pet obesity is largely due to the overconsumption of commercial food and treats. Feeding guidelines are usually based on a “healthy adult pet” and one size does not fit all. There are many factors used to determine how many calories your pet needs, like life stage, reproductive status, physical activity, and disease conditions, so be sure to speak with your vet to determine what daily caloric intake is right for your pet. This is what we call “target weight,” or the ideal weight for your pup or cat. And while we love to feed our pets treats, these added calories can push your pet over their target weight – so treat with caution!
- Read labels. Cats and dogs are natural carnivores and thrive on fresh, meat-based diets. Many traditional shelf-stable pet foods are carbohydrate-based and contain fillers like corn, wheat and soy, which are harder for your pet to digest. Instead, look for all natural food that has meat as the first ingredient, like Vital Beef & Bison or Freshpet Select Chunky Chicken & Turkey slice & serve rolls. A protein-dense food will also help your pet stay fuller longer and provide longer-lasting energy.
- Avoid table scraps. Human food is not appropriate for household pets in most instances. A complete and balanced food made especially for pets is recommended, just like all of the recipes you’ll find with Freshpet.
- Regular exercise. Keeping your pet active will help them burn calories and gain muscle tone. For a list of fun ways you and your pet can exercise together this year, visit my blog post on 10 fun ways to exercise with your pet.
Fresh Fans of the Week: Shelby and Raina of the Blind Dog Rescue Alliance!
We all love a great comeback story, and that’s exactly what we’ve found in Harry, a Basset Hound.
Last week, Suzanne F. of the Mid-Atlantic Basset Hound Rescue shared a story with us about Harry, a stray whose days appeared to be numbered. The Mid-Atlantic Basset Hound Rescue works tirelessly to take in Hounds without homes, to provide veterinary care and to set up adoptions for these deserving fur-kids.
For years now, we’ve worked with the Mid-Atlantic Basset Hound Rescue to donate Freshpet foods and treats. We love hearing stories about the pups our donations have helped, and Harry’s story is truly one to remember.
Harry the Basset Hound arrived at the Dog Rescue in mid-June of this year, after he was found as a stray in Stroudsburg, PA. He had been neutered and was comfortable indoors, so it seemed to Suzanne that Harry had been abandoned. “His coat was a total wreck,” say Harry’s foster parents, Rich and Ginger, who quickly brought him on a visit to the veterinarian. With a laundry list of health issues, such as Lyme’s Disease, a skin infection, ingrown dew claws, stomach lumps and general emaciation, Harry’s prognosis was not positive.
After some initial tender, love and care, Harry put on enough weight to receive anesthesia needed to remove the benign tumors on his stomach and have nine decayed teeth removed. Still, the vet was concerned that vaccines, in Harry’s physical state, “could put him over the edge.” With limited mobility and lingering health issues, Harry was a long shot for a heart-warming recovery story.
But that’s just what happened.
Upon their third visit to the veterinarian in three months, Harry began to turn the corner. The veterinarian was astonished about the progress that Harry had made. “Key to his recovery was vastly improved nutrition, including Freshpet Select Slice and Serve rolls and frozen Meatball Mix-Ins,” says Rich. However, Harry’s absolute favorites are the Dog Joy treats. Harry now picks up his pace for his Dog Joy treats, mobility improvement previously unimaginable when he arrived at the rescue. According to Ginger, “It is obvious that with his improved health and yummy food, Harry thinks he is living large.”
In just three months, Harry, in desperate need of a warm family and proper nutrition, is now living the healthy, happy life he deserves. Thanks to his foster parents Rich and Ginger, Harry now has a loving foster home and plenty of donated Freshpet foods and treats to keep his tail wagging.
Thank you Suzanne, Rich and Ginger for taking Harry under your wing and for sharing this beautiful story!
We love to hear how the fresh, nutritious ingredients found in Freshpet recipes have helped pets get back to their healthy selves. Got a Freshpet story to share or a favorite recipe? We’d love to hear from you! Please submit your review and story here: http://bit.ly/18uONZP