What are your New Year's resolutions for 2020? Are you still on track? According to the American Medical Association, roughly half of all Americans make resolutions, but less than a quarter are still committed by the end of January. But what about focusing on your pet? Small goals are easier to achieve than lofty ones, and having a buddy to care for can be more motivating than focusing on yourself.
Resolution #2: Feed to your pet's calorie needs
You'll need a measuring cup and 5 minutes to start this one. I hate to break it to you, but those labels on the back of the food bags usually overestimate the amount of food your pet needs. A basic rule of thumb is that a healthy weight spayed or neutered indoor cat or small dog needs roughly 20 calories per pound. Talk to us about your pet's specific needs, because our pets are individuals and the estimates are only starting points. Overweight sedentary pets may need significantly fewer calories while active pets will need more. Carefully monitor weight and body condition after changing the diet to ensure that your pet is fed properly. Check out the Pet Nutrional Alliance calculators or look at the tables by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association for dogs or cats to get the number of calories to start with. Your pet's food should have a calories per cup or can somewhere on the bag, usually near the ingredients. Then you can do the math. If you like giving treats, here's permission: 10% of the calories can come from treats. For example:
These resolutions aren't big by themselves, but they can add up to a better relationship with your pet and a healthier, longer life over time. Here's your chance to start the new decade with some small goals, and beat the odds of making them stick. Your pet will thank you.