Have you been told by your vet that your canine companion is overweight? Though this is an increasingly common problem among dogs, it shouldn’t be ignored. The team at Chico can tell you with confidence that a healthy weight increases a dog’s lifespan. In this article, we offer safe strategies you can use to help your dog shed excess pounds.
Adjust your dog’s food portions
Does your dog scarf down his meal in a matter of seconds? Or does he always seem hungry? You may want to use a slow feeder dog bowl or feed your dog more frequently with smaller portions. Another option is to give your pet a therapeutic dog food designed for weight loss. This will provide your dog with the proper amount of daily nutrients while reducing his calorie intake.
However, when tweaking your dog’s diet, you should think about more than just his daily kibble consumption. Also take in to account any treats that you and your family give him. Consider offering only half the amount of treats you normally do or even less.
Give your dog more play and exercise time
Make sure your pet gets exercise every day, not just once or twice a week. As your dog begins to develop more energy, gradually increase the time spent being active. Try to get up to at least 30 minutes a day.
If your dog is unenthusiastic or won’t cooperate, vary the activities to keep him interested. Here are some ideas:
- Take him for walks
- Hide treats in your home
- Throw treats so that he’ll run and get them
- Entice him with a treat then get him to chase after you to get it
- Play with his favourite toy
- Have mini exercise sessions by issuing a series of commands (turn, paw, sit, etc.)
Closely monitor your pet’s progress
Your dog won’t lose the extra weight overnight. Since it can be difficult to notice subtle changes, weigh your dog regularly. This will give you an indication of whether or not what you’re doing is working or if you need to try something new.
Keep up the good habits
After your dog sheds weight, it’s important that he maintain the healthy habits that allowed him to do so. Returning to a less-controlled diet, for instance, could cause him to regain the lost pounds.