Just like humans, dogs can be at risk of obesity and its associated health problems. What’s more, overweight dogs can find it difficult to exercise and are also at higher risk of arthritis than their slimmer counterparts. Fortunately, you can help your dog lose weight easily by following these five steps to help your dog lose weight successfully without putting yourself or your pet at risk.
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Weight Loss Tips for Overweight Dogs
Tips for Finding Out if Your Dog is Overweight
Sure, it’s relatively easy to see if a human is overweight. You can’t miss those love handles or bulging belly. Dogs are a bit harder to judge, however. Plus, most people don’t consider their dogs fat because they do not compare them with other dogs of similar size and age, according to Animal Planet. Instead of relying on appearance alone, you can get an idea of your dog’s weight by checking his girth and calculating his body condition score (BCS) as measured on a scale from 1-9; with 9 being ideal. If he scores less than 5, he may be too thin.
If he scores more than 7, he may be overweight. Keep in mind that puppies will have higher BCS numbers since their bones are still growing and there is room for muscle development without excess weight gain. It’s important to measure your dog regularly so you can track any changes in weight over time. As a general rule of thumb, avoid letting him become obese—most experts agree that when it comes to weight loss for dogs, anything under 10 percent of his overall body weight falls into the normal range while anything over 15 percent constitutes obesity.
Be Prepared To Cut Back On Treats
Most dogs enjoy treats, but if you’re trying to help your dog lose weight then it may be time to cut back on his or her treat intake. It can be done without hurting your dog’s feelings; simply replace the food with a favorite toy and see if it works just as well. When all else fails, incorporate some daily exercise into your dog’s routine. This might be just what he or she needs!
First, figure out if your dog is overweight and make a plan for shedding the pounds. The first step is to cut back on the number of treats he gets so he doesn’t overeat. Obese dogs are often tempted by food left out in dishes throughout their homes, so make sure they are not given more than they can handle while ensuring they have access to plenty of fresh water at all times. Whether it’s because of his own preferences or outside influences such as children dropping too many goodies off at his bowl, controlling your dog’s eating habits is essential when shedding excess pounds.
What Type Of Diet Is Best For My Dog?
Pets can be just as weight-conscious as their owners, and overweight dogs can have a number of health issues. The best diet for your dog will depend on his specific needs; consider his age, size, breed and even personality in order to find a diet that suits him best. In most cases, weight loss for dogs involves making sure he gets enough exercise and stick to a low-calorie diet with lots of fiber. Start by consulting your vet about whether your dog needs to lose weight.
Specialized Foods Are An Option
Foods that are formulated for overweight dogs are a great way to help your pooch safely slim down. A veterinary nutritionist can recommend specific dog foods that will do just that. You should also avoid giving your dog treats, as they tend to pack in more calories than they need. If you’re not sure whether or not your pet is overweight, schedule an appointment with your vet so he or she can check it out.
Another factor that plays into weight loss for dogs is exercise. Overweight dogs may struggle to perform strenuous activities and may tire easily, while regular exercise will increase their activity level and make them feel better overall. Schedule short walks every day and take him on hikes when possible. Also be mindful of his feeding habits; some sources suggest feeding him two smaller meals per day instead of one larger meal, which can cut down on his calorie intake without affecting his appetite overmuch.
Walking And Playtime Can Burn Calories Too
If your dog is overweight, it’s important to exercise regularly. Overweight dogs are at a much higher risk of developing joint problems, diabetes and cancer than normal-weight canines. A good rule of thumb for walking: For every pound your dog weighs, you should walk him for about 15 minutes twice per day (30 minutes total). This would be about three miles for a 60-pound dog.
There’s also something to be said for free playtime! Between games of fetch or tug-of-war, try hiding some doggie treats around your house (and backyard) so Fido has a little work cut out for him finding each morsel.
Use Toys That Require Exercise
If your dog gets very little exercise, you may have noticed that they tend to carry around more weight than other dogs. Dogs that aren’t getting enough exercise tend to eat more in order to keep their energy levels up, but these extra calories just end up adding extra pounds. The easiest way for a dog owner to help a dog lose weight is by making sure they get plenty of exercise on a daily basis.
There are lots of toys out there that can help with weight loss for dogs. You can find toys specifically designed to make it fun and challenging for your dog to burn off excess calories throughout the day. These types of toys also allow you to take advantage of some time while your dog is playing and not watching TV or begging at the table!
Mental Stimulation Can Reduce Boredom
The pet food industry is constantly inundated with new products and technologies, but one area has become somewhat of a forgotten stepchild. Mental stimulation is a critical element in maintaining health, yet too many dog owners aren’t addressing it. Weight loss for dogs can be achieved by ensuring they are mentally stimulated. Engaging your dog in an interactive game or on a fun walk each day not only ensures he gets his physical exercise but also contributes to an improved mental state as well. Indulge your dog by making sure he gets his exercise both mentally and physically and watch him slim down quickly!
A smart option is getting out and taking your dog with you as much as possible. Petting zoos can be a great way to socialize animals while learning more about them yourself, while parks offer room to roam freely while simultaneously providing ample opportunities for exploration. Most importantly, regular outings ensure that pets don’t just stay at home on their own all day which inevitably leads to boredom and hence more opportunities for unhealthy snacking between meals!
Schedule Meals And Snacks And Treat Times
Dogs, like humans, can become overweight if they’re not careful. You can help keep your dog trim by making sure he or she has healthy and consistent meals throughout each day. If you do that, you’ll also need to schedule regular treats so your pup doesn’t feel deprived—but make sure those snacks are low in fat and sugar. A daily walk is a great treat for any dog, but especially for one who needs to drop a few pounds!
consider giving your dog fewer biscuits and more fruits and vegetables as he gets older; seniors often have trouble keeping weight off. Be patient with him, though: Overweight dogs can lose weight just as quickly as overweight people, but it might take them longer than you’d like. The most important thing is to get started now: The longer an overweight dog stays at his current weight, the harder it will be for him to lose weight later on.
Keep Track Of Activity With A Journal
Get a small notebook and write down what time you take your dog out, whether or not he has potty breaks, how much exercise he gets during that time and anything else worth noting. This way, when it comes time to talk with your vet about his weight issues, you’ll have data on hand for making suggestions about potential changes. If you aren’t sure how much activity is enough for an overweight dog, ask your vet for some guidelines. Regardless of any medical issues a dog might have though, there is always a risk of obesity if their owner doesn’t keep an eye on their physical activity levels and diet closely enough.