The Secret to Maintaining Your Dog’s Weight During the Holidays

By Friday, November 18, 2016

A portion of this post is sponsored, but opinions are my own and 110% “pawthentic”! 

People aren’t the only ones in danger of gaining weight over the holidays. It’s all too easy for the pounds to creep up on our pets, too. Colder days, fewer hours of daylight and Aunt Myrtle slipping Fido some nibbles off her plate can all contribute to pudgier pets.

Chilly and I visited Daytime today to share how Zukes are not only a healthy treat, but a great holiday gift idea for the pooch in your life!

Kristen Levine Daytime TV Show

Here are a few helpful hints to keep your four-legged companion in tip-top shape through the merriest time of the year:

1. Up the Exercise

If you live in a colder climate, it can be tempting to cut down on daily walk times. After all, who wants to go trudging through the cold and snow when there’s a nice warm couch right there? But exercise is key to fending off unwanted weight gain and can help prevent behavioral problems, too.

Aim for at least 30 minutes a day. If you can’t do that much time outside, look for indoor activities like a puzzle toy or extra training sessions to keep your dog moving.

2. Keep an Eye on the Scale

It’s easier to catch and control weight gain early, rather than let it get out of hand. So periodically weigh your pet either at your vet’s office or on your own scale at home. (Fair warning: If you choose the latter, you may have to hold your pet as you step on the scale yourself.) If you notice your pet has gained a few, look for ways to increase exercise or decrease calories.

3. Control the Calories

Counting calories and watching what your pet eats is probably the number one thing you can do to contribute to a healthy weight. Cut down or eliminate table scraps and only hand out treats when they’ve earned it by doing something you ask of them (instead of just looking cute). Also, be sure you’re feeding wholesome, nutritious food and treats. Not only will it help with short-term weight, it can lead to better overall health and a potentially longer lifespan!

When it comes to healthy treats, I personally love the ones made by Zuke’s. This summer, my vet told me that my dog, Chilly, needed to lose weight. As part of our overall weight-loss strategy, Zuke’s helped Chilly lose 10% of his body weight and reduce his blood pressure!

Zuke’s was born about 20 years ago when a guy named Patrick was hiking through the mountains with his dog, Zuke. When they got to the top of the trail, Zuke was super tired. That’s when Patrick realized that dogs need nutrient-rich snacks as much as we do.

This inspired Patrick to create wholesome, healthy treats for dogs. Today, this small company in Durango, CO is making delicious dog snacks with ingredients that pet parents recognize (and they’re rolling out food soon, too!).

Check out some of Chilly’s faves:

Mini Naturals

zukes-mini-naturalsZuke’s best-selling training treat
is made in the USA and has only 3 ½ calories per treat. The moist, delicious morsel is packed with quality protein and comes in a variety of flavors including Roasted Chicken, Delicious Duck, Fresh Peanut Butter, Roasted Pork, Wild Rabbit and Savory Salmon. They’re also free of harsh additives, preservatives, and common allergens like wheat, corn and soy

PureNZ Jerky

zukes-pure-nzbitesThis is Zuke’s newest treat, which contains real meat plus fruits and vegetables. The NZ stands for New Zealand, which is where these high quality treats are made. A map of where the ingredients are sourced is on the back of the package. PureNZ comes in a variety of sizes and recipes.

Skinny Bakes

img_9781For dogs who like a little crunch, these low-calorie treats are meat-free while avoiding common allergens like wheat, corn and soy. They’re made here in the USA and available in delicious recipes like Peanut Butter & Apples, Yogurt & Vanilla, and Cherries & Berries.

Remember, Zuke’s can be used as a reward for good behavior during the holidays and they make great stocking stuffers, too! You can find Zuke’s Mini Naturals and Skinny Bakes at pet supply chains, independent pet-product stores, natural-food retailers, and online. Zuke’s PureNZ Jerky Dog Treats are available at pet specialty retailers nationwide and online.

Visit for more info and connect with @ZukesPets on social media.

This is a sponsored post. However, all opinions and anecdotes are my own, and I never promote any products or brands I don’t believe in. ~Petfully yours, Kristen

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