Did you know that dogs today are fatter than ever? Studies have estimated that 45% of all U.S. dogs are either overweight or obese. That would roughly be 35 million dogs. What’s worse, obesity can be life-threatening, too! An overweight dog is more likely to suffer from a disabling medical condition like Diabetes, Arthritis, Heart disease, Lung disorders, High blood pressure, Immune dysfunction and Cancerous tumors.
These diseases can greatly shorten your dog’s life. If you want your beloved companion to be with you longer and help him live a fuller life, be mindful of your dog’s weight. And to help keep your dog in tip-top shape here are five important things to know to help your dog lose weight:
Know the ideal weight for your dog
Consult your vet to see if your dog is really overweight or obese. Your vet will play an important role in your dog’s weight loss program. Your vet can suggest or prescribe the best dog food for your pet to lose weight.
Feed your overweight dog diet dog food
Instead of cutting down drastically the intake of dog food try to look for low-fat dog food with lots of digestible carbohydrates. This way your dog won’t be losing weight too quickly. If your dog is used to snacking try switching your pet to diet treats or use vegetables like carrots and celery as treats.
Eliminate or avoid feeding table scraps to your dog
A lot of people tend to feed their dogs table scraps. Most foods we humans ingest are not that healthy or good for our dogs. Remember that our dog’s dietary needs are different from ours.Come up with a good exercise plan. It won’t be easy to start walking your dog if he is overweight. The best exercise is a low intensity walking exercise. Gradually increase the time or frequency of your walks once your dog gets used to his exercise routine.
Come up with a good exercise plan
It won’t be easy to start walking your dog if he is overweight. The best exercise is a low-intensity walking exercise. Gradually increase the time or frequency of your walks once your dog gets used to his exercise routine.
It’s a good idea to keep a daily record of what you’re feeding your dog and the amount of exercise he is getting. Either make a chart or download one from the internet. Take this along to your vet so that your vet can measure the weight loss progress. Check with your vet for a scheduled regular weigh in to see if your dog is not losing too much weight too quickly.
Remember that “knowing is half the battle”. For your dog to successfully lose weight you must avoid the temptation of feeding him too much and do take time to give him adequate exercise.