Common Weight Loss Problems

Problem: My pet looks hungry and is begging me for food. 


  • If you are following the feeding instructions we have given you, your pets caloric needs are being met. Begging is a behavior and is not nutrition or hunger related.
  • Instead of offering treats, try a social or activity substitute such as, playing, grooming, walking, or offering affection.
  • Take a portion of your allowed daily food and put it in a separate bag and use it as treats during the day. This way you are not giving any extra calories.
  • Try dividing food into smaller more frequent meals during the day.
  • Use food balls, and food puzzles to stimulate your pet’s mind while working for food.
  • Remove your pet from places that you are eating.

Problem: We have a multi-pet household and my pets steal each other’s food.


  • Try feeding your pets in separate areas of the house. All the pets in the house should be on twice daily feeding.
  • If possible, put all of your pets on the same food.

Problem: My pet does not like the new diet I put him/her on.


  • There are several different diets that we can explore to find the right one for your pet.
  • Make sure you are gradually mixing the new food in with your old food over at least a 1 week period.

Problem: My pet was losing weight in the beginning and now he/she isn’t losing any. I have been very careful about treats and have been feeding the recommended amount of food.


  • Your pet may have metabolic adaptations which may result in slowing of weight loss or a plateau. At this point we may need to adjust the feeding recommendations.
  • The amount of food you have been feeding may not have changed, but what about your pets exercise? Has rainy weather prevented you from going on your daily walks? Did the batteries in the laser pointer go out? Maintaining and exercise routine is just as important as the amount of food our pets get.

Problem: I used to feed my pet whenever they were begging, I feel guilty now that I have to tell them no so often.


  • Understand that food-seeking behavior is often more of an attention-seeking behavior. Try going for a walk, or playing a game when your pet starts begging.
  • Dogs develop stronger bonds with people who walk them, than those who provide food.
  • Remember you are helping your pet by restricting their food. You are improving their daily quality of life by helping them lose weight, and increasing their life expectancy by up to two and a half years.

Problem: The other family members in my house are still feeding treats, or feeding too much food at feeding times. 


  • There should be only one designated family member that is in charge of daily feedings, and measuring out daily treats. Measure out daily treats and put them in a separate bag. Inform family members that once the treats in this bag are gone your dog/cat is not allowed to have anything else.
  • Bring your family member to your pet weigh-ins. This may help them see the accomplishments being made, and motivate them more.
  • Explain to family member that you are increasing your pet’s life expectancy and that the benefits of weight loss are more important than feeding treats. 

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Our Funkstown veterinarians offer a wide variety of pet care services including spay and neutering, general exams, vaccinations, and much more. Contact Animal Health Clinic of Funkstown today to schedule an appointment at our Funkstown, Maryland veterinary office.

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