Taking steps to actively address and resolve a weight problem will help to improve your pet’s health and well-being, and ensuring less pressure and impact on their joints. Here are out Top Ten Ways To Help Your Dog Lose Weight:
1. See Your Vet
Some dog’s can be overweight due to a pre-existing, undiagnosed medical condition, so it’s important to rule out any medical issues first before you start with a new diet regime.
Exercise should be introduced gradually to minimise fatigue and injury. Start slow and gradually increase time and intensity as your dog loses weight and gets fitter. Taking your dog to hydrotherapy classes is a great form of exercise for obese dogs to help shed that initial fat and get them on a consistent path for continued weight loss.
3. Reduce Calories
If you are feeding your dog dry food consider minimising the portion size, feeding less and more often to help speed up their metabolism. Wet food will always be a lot lower calorie than dry because of its much higher moisture content, so it is a good way to increase volume for the larger appetite.
4. Be Honest
Record all of the food your dog usually consumes over a three day period. You can then see where you need to make any reductions or improvements. Remember, all treats should be worked for and feeding your dog human food should be eliminated as best as possible.
5. Lifestyle Choice
Make sure that when you change your dog’s diet and lifestyle habits that you make them maintainable for the long term and not for any short-term weight loss results. Life-style changes are better than diets for both people and pets; and sustainable changes to your daily routine will help promote long-term good health.
It’s important that everyone in the household appreciates that these changes are being made to benefit the health of their much loved family pet. Don’t stop feeding your dog extra treats and then let the kids do it on the sly. Everyone needs to be on board with the changes and be consistent for successful change to happen.
7. Ease into it
This will give the digestive system time to cope with any new ingredients and the new nutrient balance if you are changing the food. Dramatic reductions in the calorie intake are not recommended as this can not only result in a very unhappy dog who may start indulging in antisocial behaviours such as begging, and rubbish raiding but also slow the rate of metabolism making weight loss more difficult.
8. Set Doable Goals
Your dog can’t set the goals for himself, and he relies on you to keep him fit and healthy. So, make sure you set short-term maintainable goals like walking a certain distance after a certain period of time, or eventually being able to jog with you. As you monitor his progress you should also start to notice a visible improvement his bodily condition, increased stamina and a leaner, all round happier dog.
9. Small Frequent Meals
Small frequent meals may also help to improve his metabolism and ensure maximum benefit is derived from the nutrients in the food. This is very important when your dog is on a newly derived weight management plan. Feeding him a few extra times a day can add interest to his day also, and makes you feel less guilty about not feeding him enough. Eventually, his system will get used to this new routine but it does require patience.
10. Address Causes of Weight Gain
Physiological, genetic and environmental factors may also play a part but mostly dog’s become overweight because they consume too many calories. Identifying the reason or combinations of reasons for the problem in the first place means less chance of a recurrence in the future.