In 2013, almost 70% of Canadian pets were overweight. Although this includes cats, there are likely more overweight dogs than cats. Putting your pooch on a doggie diet is a plan that may be difficult to stick with, but it will be of great benefit to your dog.
Small and large breeds of dogs alike become obese when spoiled by their owners. You probablyenjoy sharing your food with him, or perhaps you are accustomed to leaving food out so that your dog can eat whenever he is hungry. However, table scraps are not healthy for dogs, and your canine companion should not wolf down a whole bowl of food every time you fill it.
You are trying to keep your dog happy, but extra treats do not show love. Overweight dogs are not as healthy or happy as dogs that are at the correct weight for their size. Obese dogs are more prone to illnesses that include fatigue, canine diabetes, cancer and heart disease. So, it makes good sense to bring your dog back down to an acceptable weight.
What Are the Signs of Obesity in Dogs?
To tell if your dog is obese, run your hands down his side. Feel for his ribs. If you cannot find them without trying hard, your dog needs to lose some weight. Normal weight dogs will show a noticeable waistline. Plump dogs have stomachs that sag and their backs appear flat and broad.
Helping Your Dog to Lose Weight
Weighing your dog is the easiest way to track his weight as you introduce him to a healthy diet. Weigh yourself, and then do the same with your dog in your arms. Subtract your weight from the total, and you have his.
Take your dog to his veterinarian, and discuss his diet options and the ways by which you can reset his metabolism. This will give you a good idea of how many pounds your dog needs to lose. If you have a large breed dog, taking him to the vet may be the only way to get an accurate weight for him.
Speak to your veterinarian about the proper weight loss program for your dog. You will be reducing his calories, while you steadily increase his exercise. Your dog may react more favorably to the change in calories if you feed him smaller meals throughout the day.
Monitor Diet Changes
Keep a record of the amount you are feeding on a daily basis. Create a chart to track your progress. Use only a measuring cup to feed your dog.
Remove nearly all treats from the diet of your canine companion. Eliminate table scrap feeding, and feed healthy treats like apples, lean cheese or mangoes. Besure not to overfeed treats.
Exercise Is Important
Plan an exercise program for you and your dog, and stick to it. Exercise will help you and your canine companion at the same time. If you have children, they can take turns walking your dog. Don’t overwhelm him, though. Start up gradually until he can comfortably handle exercise. This will help in keeping his weight down and will help his overall health, as well.