Obesity is one of the most common dog diseases today.
Overweight can put your dog at risk for developing some serious health conditions.
In this article, we’ll share some useful dog weight loss tips.
Some of the common conditions linked with excess weight include:
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Intra-abdominal cancers
Here are 10 tips for dog weight loss:
1. Choose a healthy and high-quality dog food
You should avoid dog foods that are high in corn or other grains.
2. An appropriate dog weight loss program
My advice regarding dog weight loss programs is that you shouldn’t put your dog on a diet without the support of your veterinarian assistant.
Weight gain is a clinical sign associated with some diseases.
Your dog may present a primary health condition that is causing or contributing to excess weight, such as, endocrine diseases (e.g. hypothyroidism and hyperadrenocorticism).
These diseases should be treated or controlled prior to beginning a diet.
3. Introduce the diet dog food gradually
In order to reduce the incidence of digestive upsets, when you are introducing a new dog food to your dog, you should mix the old and new diets together in progressively increasing amounts before totally switching to the new diet.
To augment the tastiness of the diet food, try warming the food, adding a flavoring such as a small quantity of salmon juice or low-fat soup broth.
4. Ration your dog’s food
You should know precisely how much food your dog is eating at every meal.
5. Exercise your dog.
You can start to increase the intensity and duration of your dog’s daily walks.
You can also move the food bowl upstairs or downstairs, shifting its position regularly so that the dog has to walk to get his meal.
You should also play fetch with your dog, you can use balls, laser pointers, squeaky toys, Frisbee or sticks.
6. Weigh your dog on a regular basis
Almost all dogs require adjustments in the initially recommended weight loss program.
So you should determine if it’s working for your dog.
In general, your dog should be weighed monthly until the ideal weight is reached.
7. Healthy treats
Fruits and vegetables can be healthy treats for you dog.
Try apple slices, kiwi, pear, celery, carrots and broccoli, for example.
8. Food puzzles
You can motivate your dog to burn off some calories by working for his food or treats.
9. Manage your dog’s appetite
You should break you dog’s daily meal into two or three feedings.
You also should avoid self-feeders which are unrestricted food machines to dogs.
Pet your dog, take him for a walk or play with him when he’s begging for food.
A fresh water bowl should always be available.
If you put aside a little portion of your dog’s daily food you can use it in a treat dispensing toy or put it in his bowl when he’s very hungry (two or three kibbles at a time).
10. All family should be committed
All family members should contribute for your dog’s weight loss program.
No one should give him treats, snacks or left overs.
You should also make sure your dog is not sneaking food from your cat’s food bowl.
Most dogs will achieve their ideal weight within 7 to 9 months.
A healthy weight loss is between 1 to 6 pounds per month according to your dog’s size and present condition.
The secret to dog weight loss is a dedicated, protective and concerned family.
Dogs don’t recognize that their excess weight is bad for them.
A veterinary team and you can help your dog achieve a healthy body weight safely and effectively.