Overweight dogs are getting a much more common sight these days. Due to a variety of unfavorable factors at home or with regards to their health, various dog breeds tend to gain too much weight. Being overweight or obese is very unhealthy for the dog. However, they have very little self-control in terms of eating, so probably 99.9% of the responsibility is in your hands. If you’re concerned with your dog’s health and you wish to get them to lose weight, continue reading. We’ll share some valuable tips and insights we found on Our Pets Mag, one of the best & unbiased pet enthusiast blogs online.
Check their health condition
There is a variety of health conditions and illnesses that can cause dogs to become overweight. A visit to the vet will rule out any condition or do the opposite and reveal the fact that your dog needs much more attention and love than before. Things like hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease are well-known causes for excess weight gain in dogs. So, do the check-up first.
Count the calories
In general, small dog breeds won’t need more than 400 calories per day. Larger dogs that weigh up to 100 pounds could require up to 1,8k of calories. Learn the differences and understand the exact quantities which your dog needs. This is dependent on their size and activity level with very active dogs needing a teeny bit higher number of calories to keep going, of course. If you find that they are getting too many calories, reduce the amount to meet the norm gradually. Do that in 10-14 days.
Get them to exercise more
Just like for humans, the same core weight loss techniques apply to dogs. It’s all really down to being consistent and reducing food intake while increasing physical activity levels. And since we’ve already mentioned counting calories and reducing food intake, we now turn our attention to physical activity. Interactive puppy toys are a great starting point. They’ll engage your pet to be active and entertain them. This way you can occupy them with activities and speed up weight loss.
By being more outside, you can help surface their instincts which make the dogs want to play and be active outside. This is also a great combative measure against bad genetics. As you know, some breeds are just genetically more prone to being overweight, than others. On the other hand, we have dog breeds that are naturally born with high-energy levels who love to train outside, one perfect example is Alaskan Malamute dogs.
Make sure that you’re increasing the levels of physical activity sensibly. Make a smooth transition from being a couch potato into a dog athlete. This doesn’t happen overnight.
Limit treats and feeding under the table
People who reward their pups too often and people who feed them at their table along with giving them separate rations run a higher risk of making their pet obese. Too many calories quickly accumulate, especially if it’s savory, sugary, and fat-rich treats.
We recommend doing this – choose healthy treats and look at the list of ingredients. There are delicious and healthy alternatives to regular jerky or other snacks.
This isn’t the most conventional method of limiting weight gain or encouraging weight loss, but some vets do recommend meal splitting and meal breaking as an effective measure for dogs. It is said that multiple smaller meals are better for their metabolism and eliminates the possibility of overeating. This is also better for their insulin balance as that is crucial to proper metabolism and weight management.
In the end, you have to be determined to help your pet lose weight. If you’re not fully committed to this job, your dog won’t be as well. Make sure you give this enough time and attention. This is the only effective way to prevent your dog from gaining more weight and steering them towards weight loss.