An overweight pup is NOT a happy pup. When a dog enters the overweight category, it faces similar health risks to human obesity. A dog carrying extra weight is at risk for decreased stamina, difficulty breathing, heat intolerance, high blood pressure, diabetes, liver disease, osteoarthritis, increased surgical/anesthetic risk, lowered immune system, and/or increased risk of developing malignant tumors i.e. cancer. Get your furry companion on the right track this year with these simple health tricks!
Also read: “How To Deal With Your Dog Allergies the Right Way“
First, figure out if your dog actually is overweight. Dogs come in all shapes and sizes; the only sure fire way is to weigh your dog. Vets will weigh your dog at pretty much any visit but if you don’t expect an appointment needed anytime soon, just hop on the scale with your dog and then subtract your weight from the total. Google average weight for your breed of dog and there you go!
If your dog does fall in the overweight/obese category, don’t panic! There are plenty of ways to reverse this and give your pup the best health possible. Start with devising a meal plan. The ballpark of calorie allowance for a dog can be determined with this formula:
[(pet’s weight in lbs/2.2) x 30] +70
Once you figure out your pet’s daily calorie allowance, make sure to measure out food portions. Keep a measure cup in your kibble bag for easy access! Some pet owners will dump food blindly into the bowl; this feeding technique is enemy #1 for pet weight loss.
Beware of treats!! They tend to be calorie bombs. When you do spoil your pet, break up treats into tiny pieces to make them last longer. Single ingredient treats are a great choice because they are typically lower in calories and sugar. Try sweet potatoes, salmon, or blueberry bites; they have added bonuses like breath freshness or promote mobility.
Once your pet’s meal plan is sorted out, its time for some exercise! Take some extra time on your day off to take your dog out. Long walks or even runs will speed up the weight loss process and overall improve your dog’s mental and physical health.
Be patient with your dog. These changes may be difficult for your pup, especially if they’re a little bit older. Try to transition slowly and smoothly. We recommend checking in with your veterinarian in order to have the best results!