More than 50% of cats and dogs are overweight. If you aren’t sure if your pet is in the 50% population of overweight dogs, use this weight checker guide from Hill’s. One of the keys to successful weight loss is a plan and healthy routine to help reach the perfect weight.
Start with good nutrition and portion control. There are a lot of dog foods on the market. And while I’m not a dog nutritionist, the people at Hill’s are and they say Hill’s® Science Diet® Adult Perfect Weight dry dog food provides breakthrough nutrition formulated to help your dog achieve a healthy weight. Since nearly 40 % of dogs are toy and small breeds, Hills has introduced Hills Science Diet Perfect Weight Small & Toy Breed formulated just for small and toy breed dogs to help them reach a healthy weight and improve quality of life.
- 70% of cats and dogs who used Science Diet Perfect Weight lost weight within 10 weeks.
- Breakthrough blend of natural ingredients (chicken is #1 ingredient)
- Healthy weight adds to quality of life and life expectancy
- Prebiotic fibers for gentle digestion (derived from beets)
- 100% precisely balanced nutrition
You can purchase Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight from your vet, favorite specialty store or Pet 360 with a discount for auto-ship.
To help you make a plan, download the free printable calendar 10 Week Turnaround Calendar from Hills.
I like this idea because it gives you a visual (you can track your dog’s weight on the right) as well as a way to hold yourself accountable. If you actively plan to manage your dog’s weight (through food and exercise) you are more likely to have success. Pay attention to your dog and take your cues from him. Is he feeling more energetic? You can increase his activity. Losing weight takes some time and it is hard to see the changes on a daily basis, but if you take photos and track your pet’s weight, you’ll be able to see the progress.
Our daily routine varies but this winter it is as follows.
Wake-up, outside for 5-15 minutes (varies with weather.)
Back inside: Nelly and Theo play chase, Sophie watches, sometimes jumps around and plays on her own.
About an hour after waking up it is breakfast time: I measure their food so I don’t over feed them. We use toys and puzzles to help make mealtime last a little longer for them as well as give them some mental stimulation.
After breakfast: Neighborhood watch time: they watch the neighborhood, I do my stuff. Between 10 and 11, Theo will start trying to convince me to give him his dental treat. They go in their crates for that and stay there for a short time.
Back outside for a few minutes and then we are back inside for about 2 hours. Since it has been so cold, we aren’t outside for very long at all. Although our yard has a big fenced in section, I rarely leave them out there alone.
Exercise is an important part of being healthy. In the non snowy months, my dogs and I enjoy going for walks. But I’m too afraid of falling and breaking something to venture out in the snow and ice with my dogs in tow.
We’ve found some other ways to help stay active in the winter.
Tug of war is Theo’s favorite game. He brings a toy to me throughout day and he usually wins, runs away and chews happily on his prize.
Occasionally I win, but then I throw the toy. He plays fetch too, but tug is favorite. I have tried to incorporate a few of these great suggestions from Puppy Leaks to mix things up. When the kids come home from school, Theo goes a little crazy with happiness and does his Puggle wiggle. They play with him and make his day.
The dogs go back outside after the kids get home from school. After that, Theo claims his spot with the kids while Nelly and Sophie hang out with me.
We feed them dinner around 5-6, (just before we eat.) We let them out after dinner and two more times before I go to bed.
As soon as the snow melts, I’m getting back into the walk after dinner routine.
Because being healthy is more than just being a healthy weight, you can keep track of other things with this calendar, like play dates, set aside time to groom your pets, preventative treatments (for fleas, ticks and heartworms) as well as training sessions. If you give your dogs high caloric treats, be mindful of that when figuring how much food to feed them.
In just ten weeks, you can turn your dog’s health around. This could be the second best thing you do for your pets (the first is sharing your life with them.) It isn’t a gimmick, fad or a race. Follow the steps outlined (proper nutrition, exercise and tracking weight) and make a difference in your dog’s health!
Dr. Anna Coffin says
A healthy weight is so important for each pet’s longevity. I’m excited to see the results of this new diet in some of my patients!
It must be really rewarding to see your patients become healthier!
I most definitely need to apply these tactics to my dog.
Great post! It sounds like he is making great progress! I love that you covered so many ways to keep them healthy!
Theo isn’t on this food at the moment, he lost his weight last year. We are just helping spread awareness!
Felissa (Two Little Cavaliers) says
We have a big fenced portion of the yard and I don’t like leaving them there either. I will when I am packing the car to go on a trip with them I will let them stay in the yard with the door open and the door to the garage open too so that they can run right in but it still freaks me out. They get to be on the balcony with the door open by themselves but no one can get them there and they like sitting in the sun. We need to add more real exercise to their routine but we can’t go for walks in our neighborhood because there are so many dogs running around.
That’s a shame about not being able to walk in your neighborhood, but better safe than sorry! I bet they love the balcony!
Thanks for this info. My Lexy is a little chunky so I should check out this food.
Lara Elizabeth says
Boca recently went on a weight-loss plan as well. I think we all got a little “extra fluffy” over the winter when walks were shorter and fewer. I didn’t switch foods, just reduced her ration and tried to make sure she got additional exercise through playing indoors and longer walks. She looks great and I think our vet will be thrilled with her newly trim figure.
Good for Boca! I know all of us at my house could stand a little more activity! Hurry up spring!
Jana Rade says
Aah, we made this bottle game for Cookie too. Given our present resources it wasn’t nearly as fancy but she had fun with it too.
Great ideas! I love the puzzle feeder with the two swinging bottles. May have to make one of those. I always measure my dogs’ food and do not free feed.
Brian Frum says
Great post! I wish this weight stuff was easier for my Sister Gracie.
I think weight management for pets is just like it is for people, it will work for anyone (unless there is a medical condition), but some will struggle more than others. I am one who struggles.
I love the calendar from Hills. It is so important to be able to have a way to track what you are doing and the results those efforts are getting. Your food puzzle is awesome too! Very creative 🙂
Thanks! My cat uses the food puzzle sometimes too.
It’s sad that animal obesity is an epidemic just as human obesity is. My dogs always work for their meals to keep them fit, mentally and physically. We go on daily walks and perform in agility so they stay in good shape!
Healthy weight is definitely important! Thanks for sharing this information. Great post 🙂
Carol Bryant says
We are Hill’s fans and so glad to hear about this formula.
Jen Gabbard says
This post is amazing – and the point at the end sums it up perfectly “this isn’t a gimmick, fad, or race.” It’s part of keeping our dogs fit, healthy, and happy. Thanks so much for the shot out as well 🙂 I haven’t made one of those bottle games yet but I think I’m going to do that soon; we love our Kong Wobbler but switching things up is always exciting. And making one myself means if Laika manages to destroy it I don’t have to feel bad about another expensive dog puzzle ruined.
Pawesome Cats says
Great post and photos and love the DIY kibble dispenser toy to keep the dogs mentally stimulated. We’re tried a few puzzle toys with the cats, but they seem to lose interest pretty quickly. I guess, they’re just too well fed. MOL
Fur Everywhere says
Great post. I’m sure the dogs love all the time they get outside, even if it is only a few minutes at a time right now. 🙂
I’m looking forward to the warmer weather and spending more time outside.
Diane Holland says
Awesome post! A healthy weight is so important. I love your routine and your puzzle toys have given me an idea on how to slow down my pups that guzzle their food! Thank you for posting it!
Theo in particular inhaled his food and then he would wait impatiently for Nelly to finish so he could check out her bowl. The puzzle toy has really helped him to slow down and Nelly can eat on her own pace now.
Such a great post – and particularly helpful and timely for me personally. My dog JJ is getting kinda, um, chunky – plus he is disabled from a permanently injured paw, so we really have to help him get in shape. This info is very helpful, thank you for sharing!
I’m sorry to hear about his paw! I hope you can help get to a healthy weight!
Rachel Sheppard says
These are awesome ideas for making food time more interactive!
Victoria Carter says
I love the games you suggested! We use puzzle toys for mental stimulation for the dogs, we walk at least 2 miles at a fast pace, and we tend to do a lot of canoeing and swimming weather provided.
Our cats are allowed outside during the day for their exercise and mental stimulation (always supervised) and they all come in at night.
I will admit we have one cat that is overweight, but in the past three months she’s lost a lot of weight is much more frisky and has an easier time getting around. Unfortunately I think she’s plateaued so I need to figure out what else I can do to get her to loose some more weight.
Sandra Hoopes says
I love your ideas for helping your dogs stay active indoors! I need them for the summertime, though. It gets so hot around here that the sidewalks hurt my mini-schnauzer’s feet!
Those are great ideas for indoor playing. It is not always possible to play outdoors