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8 tips for maintaining your pet’s weight

Whistle devices are great to help monitor and maintain your pet's weight. Whistle allows pet owners to set personalized activity goal for their pet, and can help motivate them to hit their pet's goal by providing frequent updates on their pet's activity levels. In addition, we now feature achievement badges for added encouragement, and through the app, pet parents can view their pet's stats, including average daily activity, average daily distance, average daily calorie burn, and more.

@gisforgunther's human said: “Whistle provides me with data on [Günther's] daily exercise activities, including miles trekked and calories burned. This data tells me that Günther is living his best healthy canine life, and it ensures that we will have many more years of adventures together.”

8 Tips for Maintaining Your Pet's Weight

1. Animals are creatures of habit. It helps to establish an exercise routine so that your pet gets used to getting some exercise with you at certain times during the day. It takes 21 days to form a habit so you can be each other's accountability partners. Try to tell people about what you are doing, because it can help keep you internally motivated while other people who know about it are externally motivating.

2. While you are working on establishing that habit of exercising with your pet daily, you can use the Whistle 3 GPS tracker and Activity Monitor to set a daily activity minute goal and keep track of your pet's goal streak in the Whistle app. Shoot for a 21-day streak and then see how long you two can keep it going.

3. Our dogs and cats are much smaller in body mass compared to us, so those treats add up a lot quicker for your pet than you might think. Make sure that you check the recommended daily feeding guideline on the treat bag and spread out those tasty delights throughout the day to reward your fur baby for good behaviors.

4. Have you ever sat down at the dinner table only to feel like you are being watched very closely? Just as you look over to understand why, you are met with two big eyes and the, “I'm literally starving and sitting so pretty for you right now” look. It may be heartbreaking but don't give in to begging at the table. Table scraps are really hard to measure in calorie content for pets and tend to add up a lot faster than pre-portioned treats throughout the day.

5. We all deserve a treat yourself moment but try to find other ways to treat your pet that aren't related to food. For example, is your dog a fan of specific types of toys? Take some time out of your day to play with your dog as a reward. Or is your dog the type to love smelling every tree or shrub on a walk? Going outside with their favorite human and getting to stop and smell for as long as they want will make them just as happy.

6. Slow down mealtime by turning your pet's mealtime into an interactive activity. Making pets work for their food gives them a job to do and keeps them busy so they aren't begging for more. There are a variety of food puzzles, slow feeders, and even DIY options like the snuffle mat for dry food.

7. Identify your dog's target weight. Doggy DNA tests, such as Wisdom Panel, can provide an “adult weight prediction,” which uses the breeds identified, as well as the data from genetic size markers, to predict the likely size range of a dog when fully mature. Understanding your dog's ideal weight allows for you to take proactive measures to maintain their healthiest size, whether it's a large or small dog, or any size in between.

8. Work with your veterinarian to make sure you find the right food that will help you manage your pet's weight. And if you have a picky eater, they can help you navigate the overwhelming number of options for what to feed your pet. Having your veterinarian help you navigate the pros and cons to the various diets will also help you feel confident in the option you choose. No matter the diet, there are helpful resources to find the right nutrition solution for your pet, like IAMS tailored cat and dog food selector tools.

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