Five Tips For Helping Your Pet Slim Down in the New Year

I received samples and promotional materials in exchange for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.


Like many humans do, my dog Cocoa, overindulged this past holiday season. Of course it’s not her fault, we obviously spoiled her and gave her way to many treats. Now my little dog has gotten a little porky and really could stand to shed a few pounds…just like the rest of us!



Did you know that in fact, “according to a study by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, on average dogs gain 0.3 pounds and cats gain 0.4 pounds during the holidays, which is equivalent to 5 to 7 pounds for a person. Unfortunately, pets cannot choose to diet and exercise on their own, that’s why Freshpet, the only company making fresh, refrigerated food for pets made in the USA, has teamed up with pet nutrition expert and 12+ year practicing veterinarian Dr. Katy Nelson to offer tips on how you can help your pet battle the bulge”.


Here are the Five Tips  For Helping Your Pet Slim Down in the New Year:


1.     Check your pet’s weight regularly. You can check your pet’s weight at home by gently running your fingers along their rib cage. At a healthy weight, their ribs should be felt easily and have a thin, silky layer of skin moving over them as opposed to large chunks of fat. If you feel your pet is over weight, make an appointment with your vet to discuss an appropriate action plan. Just remember, when making any changes to your pet’s diet it’s best to do so slowly to avoid gastrointestinal upset.

2.      Portion control. Pet obesity is largely due to the overconsumption of commercial food and treats.  Feeding guidelines are usually based on a “healthy adult pet” and one size does not fit all. There are many factors used to determine how many calories your pet needs, like life stage, reproductive status, physical activity, and disease conditions, so be sure to speak with your vet to determine what daily caloric intake is right for your pet. And don’t forget to factor in the calories consumed from treats.

3.      Read labels. Cats and dogs are natural carnivores and thrive on fresh, meat-based diets. Many traditional shelf-stable pet foods are carbohydrate-based and contain fillers like corn, wheat and soy, which are harder for your pet to digest. Instead, look for all natural food that has meat as the #1 ingredient like Vital Beef & Bison or Freshpet Select Chunky Chicken & Turkey slice & serve rolls. A protein-dense food will also help your pet stay fuller longer and provide longer-lasting energy.

4.      Avoid table scraps. Human food is not appropriate for household pets in most instances.  Many of the foods we commonly eat can be toxic to dogs and cats, such as chocolate, grapes and raisins, onions and garlic, macadamia nuts, and even sugar-free gum. A complete and balanced food made especially for pets is recommended.

5.      Regular exercise. Keeping your pet active will help them burn calories and gain muscle tone. For a list of fun ways you and your pet can exercise together visit


About Freshpet

Freshpet, headquartered in Secaucus, New Jersey, is the only company making fresh, refrigerated pet food nationwide. Founded in 2006 by pet lovers and pet food industry professionals, Freshpet identified an opportunity to improve the pet food market and introduced fresh food as a healthy alternative to dry or canned food. Freshpet only uses high quality meats, poultry and fish combined with fresh vegetables and fruits – with no preservatives or fillers like corn, wheat or by-products. Nutrient-rich meals allow pets to have the same healthy eating habits as their owners.

Freshpet brands include Freshpet® Select and Dog Joy®, available in select grocery and mass-market stores; Deli Fresh®, Vital®, and Dog Nation®, available in select pet specialty store; and Nature’s Fresh ™ available in select natural food stores.

For more information on Freshpet foods, visit


Hopefully with these great tips, I can get Cocoa back to a healthy Shih Zhu weight again! What do you do to help your pets stay healthy?

About Beth

Beth Larrabee is a stay at home mom of 3 wonderful children and is married to her wonderful husband Scot. Beth is an active member in her community and is currently the Vice President of the PTO, President of The Friends of Cumston Library, and proud leader of a Daisy and Brownie Girl Scout Troops. In her spare time, Beth enjoys musical theater, singing, gaming, books, spending time at the lake and all things food.

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  1. I totally need this right now! I was just noticing my dog was looking a little heavy the other day! Thanks so much for sharing these great tips!
    cindy b recently posted..Samsung Galaxy Tab FREE Blogger Opp/GiveawayMy Profile

  2. Great Tips For The Pets Thanks For Sharing!!
    lisa jones recently posted..Betty Crocker Cake Mix Only .27 Cents At Target!My Profile

  3. I have the world’s weirdest dog. She will sometimes leave her food all day. I bet she would like those fresh pet snacks. The table scraps she begs for….. broccoli.

  4. Awww what a cute doggie you have! Our beagle-mix is a bit overweight because she keeps getting into the cat food!
    ~ Kimberly
    Our Family World recently posted..Ballet Dancing: Old-Fashioned or Great Way to Prevent Childhood Obesity?My Profile

  5. My little pup never gains weight no matter how lavishly i feed him. But my cat is always on the weight gain. The exercises for pets are great.

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