How to Handle Begging and Weight Loss

Weight loss tips


We all worry that when we place our pet on a weight loss food they aren’t getting enough food to feel full and happy. It is difficult to feel confident if we see our pet begging. It’s easy to give in and feed them something off diet but it does not help our pet to succeed in losing weight. It is very important to their health and well-being that we as owners keep to the diet as planned. We need to feel confident that the food we are feeding is enough to sustain them.

So what do we do when our pet begs from us? We understand that for them it may not be the food that they require, it’s our attention. We can retrain them to get a non-food related reward. So when our pet comes to us and begins to beg we try to redirect their focus to another activity such as playing with a toy, petting them, brushing or grooming them, or taking them for a walk. This redirects the behavior and allows us to show our affection in a positive way that will benefit our pets. Many pet owners find that by doing these activities instead of feeding will actually decrease begging behavior in their pets.

Why is rewarding begging with food so bad? It seems to us as pet owners that giving those small bits of food now and then really can’t do much harm to our pets but you would be surprised at the amount of calories that are in some foods. A hot dog for example is the equivalent to us eating 3 doughnuts, 3 oz. of bacon is equivalent to 4 doughnuts and the most surprising of all is 6.7oz. rawhide chew is equivalent to 10 doughnuts. And when it comes to our favorite cat treats, 3oz. of yogurt is equivalent to 3 doughnuts, 2 oz. of tuna is equivalent to 6 doughnuts and a 1oz. piece of cheese is equivalent to 8 doughnuts. You can see that over time these “small” treats add a lot of extra calories for our pets.

I know we all want to reward good behavior in our pets with treats. With many diets there is room to give treats, we just have to give the correct treats. With our Royal Canin diets there are feeding plans that will allow for the feeding of weight loss treats so we can still feel like we are spoiling our pets. Also some of their daily required feeding amount can be set aside to be given as treats throughout the day. There are some low calorie foods that can be used as treats as well such as carrots or green beans. But it is also important to remember that treats do not equal love. Love can be shown to our pets in many ways and by following a weight loss plan and redirecting the begging behavior we get to have them with us longer.

So remember you’re not alone and it’s common for all pets to beg, in fact 3 out of 5 pets beg. Remember that begging does not mean the pet is hungry. Remember that we can redirect the behavior into a positive for our pets with alternate activities. And most of all remember that we can show our love for our pets in positive non-food related ways.