For pet owners with an overweight animal companion, there can be a difficult balance between wanting to treat a pet and wanting to keep them in the best health possible.
However, with moderation and consistency, owners can ensure their pet reaches a healthy weight without discomfort.
Dr. Lori Teller, an associate professor in the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, says that a healthy diet is integral to successful weight loss.
Treats, whether specially made for pets or table food, should not make up more than 10% of an animal’s diet, and when given, the calories of a treat should be included in a pet’s total daily intake, she said.
“Healthy treats may include green beans, baby carrots, celery sticks, or apple slices,” Teller said. “There also are other ways to treat pets besides food; many pets may be satisfied with some attention, whether that is a game of fetch, a catnip toy, or a chin scratch.