Use puzzles. Scientists have told how to help your pet lose weight and not starve him
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The nutritionist gave some actionable tips to help your pet shed extra pounds without stress.
Extensive research has shown that dogs are increasingly facing an obesity crisis in recent years. According to the Royal Veterinary College of Great Britain, every year veterinarians register overweight in one in 14 dogs, writes the Daily Mail.
Professor Charles Spence, a nutritionist at Oxford University, has conducted extensive research and compiled a list of effective methods that will help owners “push pets” to get rid of extra pounds without harming pets.
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First of all, according to the nutritionist, it is important to give up “snacks from your own table.” Despite the fact that people want to diversify their diet, our pets do not need it at all – dogs do not suffer from eating the same food day after day. That is why Spence advises to refuse to treat your pets with human food, whether it be sausages or baked poultry.
Second, you can try turning on classical music quietly. Studies show that such background music reduces stress in dogs and prevents the development of obesity.
Third, the nutritionist advises using food puzzles – this will allow the pet not to swallow the contents of the bowl at a time, but to eat more slowly and measuredly.
Fourthly, physical activity should be increased. For example, owners can exploit dogs' evolutionary hunting behavior by giving them toys that encourage them to navigate a maze or sniff out hidden “goodies”. Thus, the pets will have to “work” a little more to get the desired “yummy”.
Fifthly, the researcher advises using smart “bowls” that will allow you to control the amount of food consumed.
Spence notes that dogs have less visual perception of food due to their limited color vision, and therefore, alas, it will not be possible to use bowls smaller size or different color to somehow adjust the amount of food they consume. Methods that are effective for people, alas, will not work for our pets.
The nutritionist notes that one of the main rules still remains the restriction of “goodies” for pets. As a general rule, dogs just love warm, moist food and meaty flavors. They are also known to have a preference for beef and pork, and to a lesser extent for chicken and lamb.
The professor notes that dogs have only about 1,700 receptors compared to 9,000 in humans, and therefore they have only a sixth of our the ability to taste. However, studies show that our pets get more pleasure from food when they have to “hunt” for it.