When a person wants to lose weight,
limiting his caloric intake and adding more physical activities to the day
usually work. The same is true for your pets. If your dog is getting a little
heavy, it might be a good idea to start limiting its food and making your dog
However, unlike humans who can say
when enough is enough, it might be more difficult to find a balance for your
dog’s weight loss efforts. Here are some useful steps that you can take in
order to help your beloved pet lose weight in a healthy manner.
Why Should Your Dog Lose Weight?
An animal that is overweight is more
susceptible to health issues like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other
medical problems. Putting on extra pounds can affect your pet’s quality of
life. The added weight can put a strain on the dog’s back and joints. This
could eventually lead to arthritis. In order to allow your pet to live a long
and healthy life, it is best that you help it slim down.
Assess If Your Pet Is Really Overweight
Doing a visual test can help you
assess if your dog is putting on too much weight. Check your dog’s profile from
the side and the top Its waist should be obvious when you observe the area in
front of its rear legs. There should also be a definite difference between the
dog’s chest and abdomen.
If you check your pet’s profile from
the side, you should be able to tell the difference in size of the abdomen and
the chest. The abdomen should be closer to the dog’s spine rather than its
chest. If you notice that your dog’s abdomen is sagging or it has a flat and
broad back, your pet may be overweight. To confirm, you might be better served
by seeing a veterinarian.
Work With A Vet To Figure Out An Effective Meal Plan
Our friends from Time for Paws – an
supplies store, says that once you and your dog’s veterinarian have
established how overweight your pet is, the doctor can find out why your dog is
gaining weight. Could it be from lack of exercise or is it caused by overfeeding?
Is there an underlying medical condition that needs to be addressed? Once those
details are established, the doctor can help you come up with a meal plan that
will suit your pet’s needs. You might be asked to buy a different kind of dog
The vet may also give suggestions on
what treats can help your dog lose rather than gain weight. You will probably
be instructed on how to control portion size and what times to feed your dog.
If not, ask about these things so you will know how to best help your pet lose
the excess weight. Ask also about possible physical activities that will be
safe for your pet to try out. Usually, going on runs is enough but your vet
will be able to better identify what other activities you can try out.
Stick To A Weight Loss Plan
If you are helping your dog lose
weight, it is important to follow a weight loss plan. The vet may have already
prescribed a type of dog food to buy, make sure that you stick to this. Make
sure to measure your dog’s food portions properly. Buying a special diet food
would be pointless if you still allow your pet to overeat. If you notice that
your pet is still not losing weight, ask the vet if it is safe to reduce the
amount of dog food even more. Use a scale or a measuring cup so you can be sure
that you are giving your pet the right amount of food. Keep track of your pet’s
weight to see if the plan is working. Do not be tempted to give your dog extra
treats. This will go against its weight loss plan.
In More Physical Activities With Your Pet
on a regular basis will do wonders for your pet’s health. It will improve its
muscle tone, reduce weight, and even boost its metabolism. All of these will
lead to weight loss. While running around may seem like a good idea, some dog
breeds are not meant to engage in very strenuous activities.
That is why
it is always a good idea to talk to your pet’s veterinarian before adding more
physical activities to your pet’s schedule. Going on a short walk every morning
or afternoon may be a good starting point, especially if your dog is out of
shape. You can gradually increase the speed and distance by observing how much
your dog can tolerate. You can also incorporate exercise into your games.
Playing fetch is a good game for this purpose.
After a few weeks, it is advisable to
go back to the vet to see how much progress your pet has made in terms of
losing weight. This way, the doctor can assess if your weight loss plan is
effective and may suggest changes in order to keep the pounds from coming back.
Remember that, although it is added work, your dog will live a longer and
healthier life if you continue on this weight-loss journey.