A healthy dog is a livelier dog. Here’s 6 tips to help with your dog’s weight
By Guest Blogger, David Huner
Maintaining a healthy weight for your dog is one of the best possible ways of keeping illnesses away, especially those associated with obesity. Arthritis, diabetes, and cardiovascular disorders are some of the common health issues associated with obesity in dogs. Your dog must be discouraged from living a sedentary lifestyle, in order for her to live a healthier lifestyle. A healthier dog is a livelier dog, and she will surely find it easier to bond with you and the rest of the family. The following are 6 tips for losing a dog’s weight;
More Protein and Less Carbs
Perhaps one of the best possible ways to help your dog lose weight is to reduce the total carbs in her diet and replace it with more protein. Carbs are usually linked to more calories in dog diets, and when the diet is low in protein and fat, it becomes quite difficult for the dog to lose weight.
Dogs will normally thrive better on high protein diet because protein helps them build more lean muscle mass, hence the ideal diet for canine must be low in carbs, high in protein, moderate in fat and contain essential vitamins. You need to choose Vitamin supplements carefully and do not go for any if it is not recommended by the veterinary doctor.
Reduce High Fiber Diet for Your Dog
Dogs will require some moderate amount of fiber to keep their digestive tract working optimally, but too much of it can reduce nutrient absorption. Diets with an excessive amount of grains contain excess fiber, while diets low in grains are normally rich in protein and low in carbs. Low-grain diets contain moderate fiber and can help your dog lose weight steadily.
When choosing fruits and veggies, you need to find the ones that wouldn’t trigger allergies or cause serious discomfort in the animal. Citrus fruits, for instance, can cause stomach discomfort such as constipation, hence they must not be included in dog food.
Get Your Dog Outdoor and Exercise More
Exercising your dog indoor and outdoor are very important to help her lose weight. Outdoor activities are more fun and can help your dog socialize even with other animals. If you don’t have much time outside your hectic schedule, you can hire a dog walker once in a while to help you walk your dog outdoors.
You don’t have to take your dog for a marathon race to get her exercised, a 5-minute session of tug and fetch, 3 days a week is enough to improve the dog’s agility while losing weight. You can also choose low-impact exercises such as brisk walking and swimming, just to boost their endurance and keep their weight in check. You don’t have to take your dog on an 8-mile hike, rather, small distance brisk walking for 10 minutes will help her lose extra calories.
Skip Out Those Extra Treats
Treats are great when you are teaching your dog some obedience lessons, but giving her too much, especially on a daily basis will make her pile up more weight. Daily treats can cancel out the weight loss benefits your dog has achieved over time. To make this more effective, you should consider a gradual cut in the frequency of time you give the dog treats.
If giving treats is part of your exercise routine, you need to cut the treat ration. Simply break the treats into smaller pieces and feed her a little at a time. Another way to control the effect of treats on the dog’s weight is to replace unhealthy sweets with fruits and veggies that are dog-friendly. Though fruits and veggies contain natural sugar plus sufficient fiber that is necessary to sustain the health of your dog, they wouldn’t add significant calories to her diet.
In addition to dog toy dispenser, you can also hide the dog food occasionally indoor or outdoor. You can hide the dog food near her crate or home.
In many ways, choosing inedible treats for your dog can also help prevent gaining extra weights because edible treats have been found to aid weight gain.
Have the Dog Work for The Food Occasionally
You can incorporate exercises into your dog’s daily routine by making her search for her meals. You can make use of a puzzle toy or treat dispenser to get your dog work and discover her food. Food dispensing toys will not only help your dog work and lose weight slowly, but it will also stimulate the animal mentally. The dispenser toys will keep your dog active even when it is time to get food.
Most dogs will normally gain weight slowly but if the dog gains weight abruptly, then there might be an underlying medical condition. Diabetes, Cushing disease and diabetes are some of the underlying diseases that can cause abrupt weight gain in dogs. You will have to take the dog to a pet when there is an underlying medical condition. Aside from underlying medical conditions, lack of balanced diet and overfeeding the animal always can lead to drastic weight gain.
Tracking the weight of your dog is as important as any other step towards helping her reduce weight steadily and safely. You can buy a walk-on-scale or use the one at the veterinary office to weigh the dog on a regular basis. Most dogs that have been trained to use the weight scale will happily hop on the scale for weight measurement. You should have a target of between ½ a pound to 2 pounds of weight loss every month. If your dog is not achieving this steady weight loss, you should not lose hope, the most important thing is that she is losing weight steadily.
There are several other ways you can get your dog to lose weight steadily. Measuring everything that your dog eats perhaps is a great way to start. Get an electronic scale to weigh everything your dog eats and adjust accordingly. The golden rule of keeping your dog healthy through diet is by cutting the carbs by half while increasing the protein content.