Many pets are motivated by food, so providing a treat when you want to show a little extra love is common. Do any of the following scenarios sound familiar?

Scenario #1: You’ve been at work all day, and your favorite furry companion has waited patiently for you at home. When you arrive, you feed her dinner, change your clothes, and tell her you have to go to your friend’s birthday bash. She looks up at you with those sweet, puppy dog eyes. You feel terrible. What do you do? Give her a treat.

Scenario #2: It’s your busiest time of year at work, and your kids are involved in so many extracurricular activities that you feel as if being the family chauffeur is your second full-time job. With all your hustling around, your pup hasn’t had a quality walk in days. You feel terrible. What do you do? Give her a treat.

Scenario #3: It’s Valentine’s Day, and you give your significant other a sweet treat to celebrate your love. Your animal companion looks at you longingly as if to say, “Where’s mine?” You feel terrible. What do you do? Give her a treat.

An extra treat here or there can lead to a lot of extra calories, which can adversely affect your pet’s health. Instead of giving more treats, here are some ways you can show your pet love without expanding her waistline:

Walk more — Even if your schedule is jam-packed and there’s no way you’ll have time to walk your dog, her health—mental and physical—should still be a priority. Wake up 30 minutes early to enjoy a sunrise walking session, or run home at lunch to take an afternoon stroll. If you really can’t make the time, hire a dog walking service to ensure your pet gets the exercise she needs.

Play more — Engage your dog in a game of tug-of-war or take her to the dog park so she can play with her pals. And, don’t forget about your feline friend—cats appreciate playing, too! Use a laser pointer or feather-string toy to keep your cat occupied and physically active.

Cuddle more — At the end of the day, your pet really just wants to spend quality time with you. If you’re exhausted, simply cuddling up on the couch together is a great way to bond with your furry friend.

Has your pet put on a bit of weight after getting extra treats? Contact us about a healthy weight for your furry friend.