Over the years, Hemopet has provided tips on beneficial supplementation, foods and treats, as well as occasionally how much to give of each.
We emphatically state: stop eyeballing and actually measure!
Yes; we understand. You are probably a great cook and baker. You’ve been cooking for years. You dash your seasoning. You double the amount of garlic in your spaghetti sauce. You add a whole bottle of vanilla to your frosting. You blindly scoop the flour or sugar and the cookies still come out great. People rave about your delicacy indulgences (In fact, we wouldn’t mind a taste ourselves!)
Companion pets are different.
Remember: You probably weigh over 100 pounds more than your companion dog.
According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), 60% or cats and 56% of dogs in the United States are overweight or obese. In 2012, APOP found that 52.5% of dogs were overweight or obese. The upward trend line is not good.
Think about it from this perspective. Feeding one hot dog to a 20 lbs. dog is the equivalent of you eating three hamburgers. In fact, one ounce of cheese to a dog is 2.5 hamburgers to you. One ounce of cheese for a 10 lbs. companion cat is the same as you eating 3.5 hamburgers. 1 potato chip to a 10 lbs. cat is like you eating 1/2 of a hamburger. While we don’t prefer to give these human treats to pets, we do have human food treats we prefer. Find out what they are!
We understand that after-dinner treats may be your bonding time, but please do not raise the expectations of your companion pets with human-sized, bite-sized portions. A better idea to bond with your companion pet would be cuddle time. An even better idea for bonding time is to take them for a walk.
The moral of the story is remember the amount or size. When we say tiny – we mean itty-bitty, teeny-weeny.
Commit to Measuring
First, we suggest purchasing a separate set or two of measuring cups and spoons specifically dedicated to your companion pet’s food or supplements.
Several pet food manufacturers provide daily feeding ranges. Most of the time, many of us may aim for the middle or top of the range when we should be aiming a bit lower. If the veterinarian tells you to try to shave weight off your companion pet, measuring and reducing the amount of food is the best way to start.
Pumpkin is a good starting point and an at-home way to try to relieve boot-scooting across your carpet or floors. Start off with a small amount for small dogs and work your way up to a tablespoon. For bigger dogs, work up to two tablespoons per day. Be careful, you don’t want to give too much as it could lead to the opposite effect: diarrhea. Find out more about the benefits of pumpkin and anal sac relief.
For small dogs, start off with 1/4 teaspoon daily of coconut oil. That’s it? Yes; that’s it – 1/4 teaspoon. That’s enough. If your companion dog tolerates it, you may be able to increase it to one teaspoon per 10 lbs. of bodyweight per day and up to one tablespoon for large dogs. Of course, if your companion dog starts packing on the pounds due to the high-fat content, decrease the coconut oil.
Speaking of coconut oil or pumpkin, both are excellent conveyors for medication. Of course, pets can catch on to your tactics and lick around the medication! You could think about using almond butter. Again, please use the smallest amount possible to get the pill down the hatch. You don’t have to give an entire spoonful to get the trick done! Just a smidge may suffice! Find out other modes of medication transportation from our followers!
Dodds, W. Jean. “Pumpkin: Why Is It Such a Popular Treatment for Diarrhea?” Dr. Jean Dodds’ Pet Health Resource Blog, Tumblr, 30 Apr. 2013, https://drjeandoddspethealthresource.tumblr.com/post/49201678233/pumpkin-diarrhea-dog-cat.
Dodds, W. Jean. “The Use and Abuse of Probiotics.” Dr. Jean Dodds’ Pet Health Resource Blog, Tumblr, 26 June 2016, https://drjeandoddspethealthresource.tumblr.com/post/146510195761/abuse-probiotics-dog-diarrhea.
Dodds, W. Jean. Vegetable Experiments With Companion Dogs. Hemopet, 7 May 2021, https://hemopet.org/vegetable-experiments-with-companion-dogs/.