Just because your pup has been on a weight gain campaign doesn’t mean he’s the only overweight dog out there. A recent survey revealed that there are over 77.5 million pet dogs in the United States, and while these pups provide unconditional love and joy to millions of people, one-quarter to one-third of them are overweight.
There are many things you can do to help your overweight dog to lose weight.
How to Know If Your Dog is Overweight?
You should feel around your pet’s ribs and spine to see if they could shed a few pounds. While searching for the ribs on an overweight dog, you may have trouble finding the bony structures below the dog’s skin. This is because of the layer of fat that sits between the ribs and the skin. If you can’t find your dog’s ribcage, your dog is overweight.
Weigh Your Dog the Right Way
When you go to a new vet’s office for the first time, it’s a good idea to bring a recent picture of your dog and a weight-in chart with you. This way, your vet can get a more accurate idea of what your dog should weigh.
Weight your dog weekly or monthly to make sure they’re on track. At your vet’s office, you will find a scale that they would be more than happy to let you use! If you can’t make it to the doctor’s office, take a reading at home. To get an accurate weight measurement step on the scale, and then step on again while holding your pet. The difference between the two weights is how much your dog weighs.
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What Happens If a Dog is Overweight?
Overweight dogs are less healthy than dogs at a normal weight. Excess weight can cause arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, breathing problems, and an increased chance of developing cancer. Overweight dogs are more likely to have skin problems, ear infections, and stomach upsets. Being overweight can also affect a dog’s behavior, causing them to be more aggressive, difficult to train, and possibly biting the postman!
List of Dog Breeds at Risk of Becoming Overweight.
- Shetland sheepdogs
- Golden retrievers
- Basset hounds
- Cavalier King Charles spaniels
- Cocker spaniels
- Labrador retrievers
How Should I Begin a Weight Loss Program for My Dog?
It is important to start your dog’s weight loss plan with an exercise routine. If your dog has become overweight, consider these ways to help get him back into shape:
A food Journal
Make a list of every item your dog eats in a day, including dog treats and table scraps.
Increase Physical Activity.
The goal should be to give your dog enough physical activity to burn off at least one calorie per pound of body weight per day. Exercise can include walks, fetch, and supervised runs. Give your dog an opportunity to stretch and move around often by throwing toys or running after a ball. Use an electronic pedometer to track the number of steps your dog takes each day. Set a goal and try to achieve it.
Put Your Dog On a Weight Loss Plan.
Talk with your veterinarian about how to effectively manage your dog’s diet while still providing him with the necessary nutrients.
Cut Out The Treats.
Unless you want your dog to grow fat and lazy, stop feeding it table scraps and treats.
Show The Love That Doesn’t Involve Food.
Many dogs find it hard to separate love from food since they usually receive treats as a reward. Instead of a treat, offer them a loving touch and soothing words.
Diet Plan For Overweight Dogs
Two Meals a Day (1 Morning and 1 at Night)
Doggie’s appetites will be controlled by leaving food in his bowl for a half-hour and then picking up the bowl before he could consume more. This will ensure he eats at a normal rate and does not overeat.
Feed Your Dog Based On its Breed and Daily Activity.
Some dogs need more food than others. This is not because they need more food, but because their metabolic rates are higher. Ask your veterinarian to determine the right amount.
Make Sure Your Dog’s Diet is Well Balanced.
Proper dog food should have the right proportions of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Commercial dog foods are tailored to keep these nutrients in mind. But make sure to check the ingredients list to make sure there isn’t anything unnecessary in there.
To Maintain Your Dog’s Weight, Limit Their Intake of Table Scraps and Treats.
Dogs have a tendency to get a little too excited about treats. As a result, they love treats a little too much. I advise that 5% of a dog’s diet be a treat, the rest coming from a portion of nutritionally complete dog food.
In conclusion, For dogs, the weight loss approach is the same as it is for humans, to burn more calories than they ingest, they must eat less and exercise more.
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