How to Put Your Dog on a Diet
It can be hard is shedding that extra weight. Our dogs are no different than us, and they can easily gain weight. However, it is harder for pets to lose it because they don’t know how to make a conscious effort to be healthier. In fact according to a study done a few years ago, 53% of dogs are overweight or obese. Don’t worry if your dog falls into the same category as many, there are ways to help them get healthier.
Make sure to consult your veterinarian before you put your dog on any kind of diet. They can help calculate the exact amount of calories your pet needs in order to lose weight based on their current size, ideal size, energy level, and general health status.
- Portion Control – Just like you or me, portions are an important part of any diet. Most dog foods have a chart on the back of the bag that will help you decide the right portions for your dog. If they currently are on a high-fat food, gradually mix in a high fiber/ low-fat food into their diet.
- Treats – Also like us, treats in between meals can pack a lot of extra calories. It’s hard not to give your pooch treats because it makes both of you happy at the time. It is almost like giving a treat is a way to express your love, but if your dog is obese it is actually the opposite. Also, if you have a hard time saying no when you pet is begging for table scraps, you may want to put them in a room with their dinner while you eat.
- Exercise – In our mostly sit down and compact world, exercise can be hard to come by, but it is very important. Start taking your dog on walks at least once a day. If they have a hard time walking, start slow and gradually increase speed and distance as the weeks past. Check out these great ways to exercise with your dog here. Plus, exercise will make you both feel better!
- Don’t Give In – Seeing our loved ones wanting something that we can give so easily, like extra food and snacks, can make it hard not to give in. But giving in will not only make it harder to try in the future, plus continues to keep them at risk for health risks. Diabetes, osteoarthritis, heart disease are some things that could affect your dog if they stay at an unhealthy weight.
Being at a healthy weight is just as important for our pets as it is for us. Giving your pet a long and healthy life is what every pet parent wants.