Simple way to healthy animals

FORGET the treadmill, Atkins or fatbuster pills, Murwillumbah vet Phil Taragel reckons slimming your pet is simple.

A man who sees fat cats and podgy pooches all the time, Mr Taragel knows that weight loss in pets can be achieved easily by a balanced diet and exercise.

"The goal is to try to get the balance right for your pet," he said.

"If the animal is getting less exercise then cut their food back, unless they are pregnant or a puppy.

"Be careful feeding them dry food, as it can be very high in carbohydrates, which they may not burn off.

"And make sure they get plenty of exercise - 20 minutes twice a day is ideal for a dog."

Mr Taragel said pet owners also had to discipline themselves when it comes to treat time.

"Too many treats are a problem, so use them wisely. They often aren't very filling. There are so many types out there that it is easy to overfeed."

"And be aware that in a family a pet can be eating all day if everyone gives them a treat."

Mr Taragel said big no-nos for portly pets included chocolate, fatty offcuts and chicken skin.

"A lot of it comes down to common sense.

"And if you are having any problems, talk to a vet - it can save plenty of money and heartache down the road."

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