Although you may not realize it, studies show that around half of American dogs are overweight. It’s actually quite easy to see why — pets want love, and we want to show it to them. That love often comes in the form of dog treats and hearty meals. And if that’s not enough to make a dog overweight, there’s always the fact that most dogs aren’t walked enough.
As humans, it’s very easy to look past the problem of pet obesity. You may think your dog looks cute with a little extra weight. You may think they’re just big boned. Or you may not even realize the extra weight is there! However, obese dogs are prone to suffer many of the same problems as obese humans. Canine diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and other issues can all be the result of an overweight dog. As a dog owner, it’s your job to prevent those issues to the best of your ability. How can you help your dog lose weight?
Recognize Your Dog Is Obese
Before you can start correcting the problem, you need to acknowledge there really is a problem. You need to know your dog’s current weight in comparison to what it should be. While going to a veterinarian is usually the best answer, you can get a good idea at home. So how does one go about weighing a fidgety dog? Step on the scale while holding your dog, then subtract your weight when done. Your dog’s weight should match up with this chart.
Change The Eating Routine
Changing your dog’s eating routine involves 2 steps – portion control and the removal of treats. Your dog shouldn’t have a bowl of food left out for them during the day. Instead, follow the daily calorie intake depending on the dog you own. Make sure you’re serving healthy foods.
Also note that treats shouldn’t really be a part of your dog’s diet. Like anything in life, a couple treats once in awhile are alright — but don’t go overboard. Remember, treats are calories too. Try replacing treats with healthier foods in small portions.
Just like human weight loss — most is based on what you eat; the rest is based on how much you exercise. The same goes for dogs. Make sure your dog exercises daily – a walk is the best, a good round of fetch is second best. Try not to do too much at once. Your dog could get tired easily, which will cause stress.
So there you have it – helping your dog lose weight is not an incredibly hard task. Dogs eat when they’re fed and exercise when they’re told. In many cases, it’s actually easier for a dog to lose weight than a human. Monitor your dog’s weight weekly to keep their weight at a healthy level!
Lisa Podwirny is the owner of Ketchum Mfg. Connect with her on Google+!