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Navigating the path to pet weight loss, including determining how much to feed an overweight dog or cat.

If you’re ready to help your dog or cat achieve a healthy weight, you’re about to embark on a journey. One that will involve careful steps, and lasting commitment.

Before asking yourself “How much food should I feed my overweight cat or dog,” the first step you need to take is to determine your pet’s actual body condition.

Step One: Check your pet’s body condition with a healthy hug

The number on a scale isn’t the only indicator of your pet’s body condition. To help determine whether he or she might be overweight, try a hands-on examination to check your pet’s body condition. Check for the following:

For dogs:

  • Put your hands on the sides of your dog’s rib cage. You should be able to feel his ribs easily.
  • Look down at your dog from above. You should be able to see a defined waist – an indentation that gives him an hourglass shape.
  • Now look at your dog from the side. He should have a visible abdominal tuck, where his ribs extend lower than his stomach.

See an example of how to give a canine body condition check here.

For cats:

  • Put your hands on the sides of your cat’s rib cage. You should be able to feel her ribs easily.
  • Look down at your cat from above. You should be able to see a defined waist – an indentation that gives her an hourglass shape.
  • Now look at your cat from the side. She should have only a minimal pad of fat covering the underside of her ribs.

See an example of how to give a feline body condition check here

Step Two: Deciding how much to feed an overweight dog or cat

Since food is an essential to your pet’s health and happiness, you of course need to answer the question: How much food should I feed my overweight cat or dog?

That answer depends on the weight management food you choose and your pet’s current weight, which you should check regularly.

An innovative weight loss system from Purina®, called Pro Plan® Simply Fit™, offers an exciting and effective new approach to weight loss, through a method called Intermittent Calorie Restriction (ICR). As the name implies, this patented Purina® system alternates two foods intermittently—
one with a maintenance level of calories, and another with 25% less calories per serving. So unlike traditional weight loss method called Continuous Calorie Restriction (CCR), with Pro Plan® Simply Fit™ you can help your pet cut calories without sacrificing serving size. So he or she will get the same amount of great tasting food and you won’t feel guilty.

Step Three: Making the Switch to Simply Fit™

If you and your veterinarian agree that Pro Plan® Simply Fit™ is the right choice for your pet, you might be eager to start filling your pet’s bowl right away. However, when switching foods, it’s important to allow seven days to help your pet transition from his or her current food to something new. Each day, replace a little more of the current food with the new food until you’re feeding the new food exclusively. Doing this will help minimize digestive upset for your pet.

Checking the instructions on the Simply Fit™ box will answer any questions you might have, including, “How much food should I feed my overweight cat,” or how much to feed an overweight dog. Be sure to follow them carefully.

Step Four: Track your progress, and share your success!

By sticking with the Simply Fit™ system, you can help your pet achieve weight loss results. To track them, designate the end of every fat burn formula week as your weigh-in date, and log your results to track your pet’s progress. You can even take a photo at each weigh-in, for another way to see results.

To help you keep track of when to switch between Simply Fit™ metabolic maintenance and fat burn formulas, and when to weigh in, download the free, printable Simply Fit™ calendar here.

Another way to stay committed to your pet’s weight loss program, and inspire other pet owners to do the same, is to join the Simply Fit™ Facebook group. It’s a great way to get support and answers from other pet owners, and to share your pet’s weight loss success on Simply Fit™!