By Brandi Lawson

Who doesn’t love a chubby baby animal? Of course, we all adore those round little bellies and stubby legs. However, as our pets grow older, it’s important to make sure their baby fat starts fading away and muscles develop in its place.

Pet obesity has become a huge problem. An estimated 53% of cats and dogs are considered obese. But not to worry! We’ve put together some tips to help your four-legged friend stay at a healthy weight.

Feed them the right amount and type of food:

Just like humans, our pets’ needs change as they age. Babies need much more fat and calories in their diets because their bodies are burning a lot of energy growing and developing. As they age out of their younger years, animals tend to need fewer calories because they are using less energy. Of course, this varies depending on the lifestyle of the pet. For example, a lap dog will probably need a lot less calories than a sled dog. For this reason, it’s important to consult your vet or pet care professional to get a recommendation. They can suggest the right food based on your pet’s breed, size, and lifestyle as they grow and change.

Monitor pet health regularly

One of the best things you can do for your pet’s health is keep a close eye on it. Not only weighing them often, but also watching how much activity and sleep they’re getting. Using your Poof Pet Activity Tracker is a great way to make sure they’re getting a good amount of exercise to sleep.

It’s also a great idea to bring your Poof app with you on your next trip to the vet. Show your vet the activity and sleep reports for the last week or so and ask them if your pet should be getting more or less sleep, more or less exercise, etc.

Create an exercise schedule

Exercise is the most obvious way to keep your pets weight down. Set specific times each day to play with or walk your pet. Animals love consistency, so setting a specific time that you stick to each day will not only help you remember to exercise with them, but will help them get acclimated to a daily routine, and reduce their stress overall.

Give treats in a creative way

While you might be tempted to spoil you pet with all the treats she can handle, this can be detrimental to her health. Instead of just handing her treats when she’s good, buy a toy that integrates goodies and makes a game out of retrieving them. There are many feeding toys on the market that incentivize pets to play, toss, and dig in order to reach the hidden treat inside. This is a perfect way to both slow down treat consumption and encourage exercise.

The information and health tips were compiled with information from the following sources:

Association For Pet Obesity Prevention