Overweight Dogs: 4 Easy Ways to Help Your Dog Lose Weight & Be a Healthier Pet by 30Seconds Mom
Did you know that about 50 percent of pets in the U.S. are overweight? Considering how many of us struggle to keep our own weight in check, this makes being a dog owner even more challenging. The reality is, many dogs tend to put on weight as they become older, and if this weight gain isn’t kept under control it can lead to many health issues. Thankfully, there are a few simple steps you can take to help your canine companion keep those excess pounds off:
1. Monitor Their Calorie Intake
Remember that the recommendations listed on labels don’t apply to every dog. These are guidelines based on the dog’s size, and your dog’s age and level of activity come into play when you start counting calories. If your dog has been eating the same food for years and starts to put on weight, it may be a case of simply reducing portion sizes. However, if this doesn’t work, you should consider changing their food or introducing them to weight loss dog food.
2. Daily Exercise
At a minimum, your dog should get a walk every day. However, some dogs may be more active in the home than others. Beyond the exercise itself, a daily walk provides mental stimulation and a great opportunity for the dog to explore new environments. Beyond walks, you should engage your dog in games, such as throwing a ball, playing tug-of-war or a game of Frisbee. These activities help your dog burn calories while allowing them to have fun, too.
3. Praise Over Food
The majority of dogs are food motivated, so using treats during obedience training is a common practice. However, a little dog treat here and there can quickly add up in terms of calorie intake. Try to find alternative ways to reward your dog. If you are consistent, praise or the use of a toy can also be used as effective training tools.
4. Monitor Their Progress
Your first try to help your pup shed excess weight may not necessarily achieve the results you want. There may be an element of trial and error until you find out what works. Keep track of what your dog is eating, and don’t forget to take note of any treats you give them as well. You’ll also need to monitor their exercise. Make sure to have regular weigh-ins in order to monitor their progress.
Dogs are much more than pets; they are part of your family, and it’s vital to keep them as happy and healthy as possible. Bear in mind that just like people, dogs have different metabolisms and some will lose weight faster than others. If you’ve tried the above methods without noticeable success, the next step would be to make an appointment with your vet. This would help rule out any medical issues.
Helping your dog lose weight may not be easy, but any success you have will serve them well in the long run, so don’t give up!
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