Obesity in dogs is a popular problem. Studies taken by Hill’s Pet Nutrition in Australia show that up to 40 per cent of dogs are either overweight or obese. It can prompt the onset of disorders which can seriously affect the quality of a dog’s life and its life expectancy!
The following is seven tips to help your beloved pooch lose some weight if they’re a bit chunky!
1. Check if your dog is overweight – to check if your dog is overweight, weigh them at home! Firstly, know your own weight and then if able to, crouch down and carefully pick up your pooch. Subtract your own weight from the total and you’ll have the right figure. You can also, do the rib test which is simply, running your hands down the side of your dog and feel for them; if you cannot find them easily, your dog is obese and needs to lose weight. Lastly, check the weight of your dog’s breed against a trusted chart. http://brunswickcentralvet.com.au/pet-library/weight-the-ideal-bodyweight-range-for-your-dog-by-breed
2. Daily Exercise – Just like humans, one of the most effective ways to get your pooch to lose weight is to get some daily exercise in! Begin with walks. This is not just good for them – it’s also great for you! As your dog gets more used to its daily routine, you can increase the intensity of the workout instead of just going on a walk, go for a quick jog or play a game of fetch in the park as well.
3. Food Portion Control – It’s easy to over feed your dog if you do not know how much your dog should actually be eating. Check your dog’s food package for the proper amount suggested for your pet. Try to feed your dog on the lower end of the suggested amount.
4. Less Dry Food and more Whole Food – Fresh proteins, carbohydrates and fat sources are more energetically useful to your pet than what is found in dehydrated dry foods. Add steamed vegetables such as broccoli or carrots. This will dilute your pet’s calories by adding more fibre.
5. Cut out Treats – If you want to give your dog healthy treats, consider fresh fruits or vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, green beans or apples!
7. Use Interactive Toys – Toys that dispense treats get your dog moving and burn calories while they try to work for their reward. Be sure to use treats that will really engage your dog, such as carrots and apples!