Put Your Obese Dog on a Diet
No thanks,” said no obese dog ever when tempted with your handful of tasty treats. Dogs live in the moment; for most dogs, every moment when food is present is like an opportunity of a lifetime. Therefore, you must monitor your dog’s intake to ensure the dog food going in does not contribute to an overweight dog
Is My Dog Fat?
Obesity in America isn’t just a problem for humans. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), an estimated 54% of dogs and cats in the United States are overweight. According to the overweight dog chart, you should be able to slightly feel your dog’s ribs when they are fit. If it’s difficult to feel your dog’s ribs under fat and their waist is non-existent, it’s probably time to start a doggy weight loss plan.
Obesity in dogs is very similar to obesity in children; both children and pets are dependent on your educated guidance and actions. For most obese dogs, the true culprit is the owner’s feeding method and a lack of exercise. Feeding your dog free-choice, meaning they have food available at all times, can lead to over-eating by many dogs. To compound that, many owner’s view the 10-minute outside potty break as the daily exercise routine.
Is My Dog Overweight?
Dogs are designed by nature to travel and scavenge. Today’s dogs often prefer to sit on the couch and have their meals hand-delivered. Sound like any dog owners you know? Studies have shown that less active owners have less active dogs. If your dog isn’t getting a proper diet or enough exercise, she can end up with any variety of debilitating conditions as she ages. Obesity affects all of her internal organs, joints, and bones. Obese pets can develop diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes), heart disease, increased blood pressure, and skin problems.
How to feed your dog
Putting in a little effort now could reap huge rewards down the road, including adding years to your dog’s life. Below are some tips for feeding your dog healthier:
- Feed your dog healthy dog foods on a schedule
- Feed two or more small meals per day at regular intervals and pick up any uneaten food
- Put your dog’s meal in a doggy puzzle toy so they get physical and mental stimulation while eating
Periodic treats don’t need to be totally eliminated. They are great training tools and for the occasional “treat”; not an hourly event. You can even find low fat dog treats so you can feed more without feeling guilty or endangering your dog’s diet.
Ways to Exercise Your Dog
Make sure your dog is getting plenty of exercise to burn calories and build a better body. Daily play sessions and dog walks are great ways to bond while getting both of you in better condition. Do not carry your dog with you everywhere; even 5lb little precious pooches need exercise for their well-being and their mental state of mind. Your dog knows how to walk so put them down!
Remember, if your dog is really obese, start an exercise program slowly as they may not be able to handle rigorous activities in the beginning. Putting your dog in the backyard is not an appropriate exercise plan. Generally, a dog will not expend much energy when alone; sound familiar? Your companionship and participation is required to conquer your dog health issues.
How to Keep Joints Healthy
Dog’s joints take a pounding during walking, running, and jumping. Particularly for overweight dogs, it’s recommended to use dog stairs and ramps to reduce the strain on your dog’s joints when they are carrying too much weight. It can also be a form of exercise for your dog to go up and down to the furniture rather than lying around on the floor.
What are you waiting for? Revamp your dog’s nutrition, put your obese dog on a weight loss plan, and proactively use dog stairs, so you can have a long, healthy life together.