"We love our pets and want to give them treats, but we often do not think of candies from a calorie point of view," said John P. Loftus, a veterinarian at the College of Veterinary Medicine of the United States. Cornell University. "It adds up with time. It is better to show our love than by food.

"And everything counts as a treat, including bone marrow and rawhide," Dr. Linder told me, as well as leftover food from the owners or removed from their plates. The treats used for training or recovery should only contain a few calories, such as Fruit Skinny Minis or Zuke's Mini Naturals.

Rather than doing excessive treats, offer your dog love and attention by playing ball, chore or rope fighting, which provides an exercise that burns calories. Cats also like playing with objects they can wrestle with, like a little mouse on a string or a ball of wool. For animals that are too old or do not want to play, you can show your love without calories with a caress, a belly rub or a scratch behind the ears.

Whether you feed your dog one, two or even four times a day, the amount of food served should always be measured. Many homeowners are guided by the portion sizes indicated on pet food labels, but these are just general guidelines that tend to be very conservative, Loftus said. Not all animals are metabolically identical or of the same activity. It is best to judge the amount of whether your pet is gaining or losing weight with the amount of food you provide, he said.

His colleague in Cornell, Joseph J. Wakshlag, said, "The guides should say," Please, feed yourself with the lowest recommendations when you start eating, and only increase if the Animal;

Dr. Loftus said, "The jury still has not decided what could be better," added Dr. Wakshlag, "calories make the difference, not the food. You can eat very little high calorie foods and lose weight if you are diligent. In general, canned foods designed to lose weight tend to provide fewer calories than dry food alternatives. "

It is also important to learn how to resist begging dogs for more food than they need. Dr. Linder said, "If you already meet the nutritional needs of your animals, they are not hungry. What they really ask for is your attention. Better to distract them with an activity. "