When it comes to keeping pets at a healthy weight, humans can contribute to both the problem and the solution. Just as people need to control the temptation to overindulge, pet owners need to control the temptation to overindulge their pets. Pet obesity is a real problem for many American households. As with your own diet, moderation is the key to good health for your dog and cat, too.
This is what happens when you give your pet too many treats:
– they consume more calories than they burn
– they come to expect a reward every time they do something normal
– one pet may get aggressive with another over a treat
If you want to keep your dog or cat at a healthy weight, t here are other ways to show that you’re satisfied with their behavior.
You can verbally show pleasure by telling them that they’re “a good boy” or “a good girl”. You can spend time stroking their fur and patting their head as a form of positive reinforcement.
Encourage exercise. You can take time out of your day to play with them or take them for a walk. Remember to adjust the intensity based on the individual abilities of your pet.
Maintain consistency. Remember that a pet is not likely to immediately understand why the treats have ceased or why mealtime looks different. Attention-seeking behaviors may even amplify for a time. Hold firm and be consistent in resisting those begging eyes and you can find the process becomes easier for both of you.