Help your dog shed unwanted weight and still give him the nutrition he needs.
Is Your Dog Overweight?
Place your hands on the sides of his rib cage and carefully run your palms down to his sternum.
If the ribs are protruding out, your dog is likely too thin.
If you can feel his ribs individually and his abdomen is slightly tucked up when you view him, he's at a good weight.
If you can't easily detect his ribs, he lacks a waist and/or his belly drags, he needs to lose weight.
If you suspect your dog has an overweight or obese body condition, consult your veterinarian for advice on how to implement a safe weight loss plan.
The Cause of Canine Obesity
Like people, several variables contribute to dogs’ increased weight:
- They eat more calories than they burn (especially if they eat large amounts of people food).
- They don't exercise enough.
- Their calorie needs may decrease following spay or neuter surgery.
- They are given too many dog treats.
How to Help Your Dog Safely Lose Weight
- First, talk to your vet to develop a plan for safe weight loss.
- Once your vet determines the diet best suited for your dog and how much it should eat, your dog should lose about 1% of his starting weight per week.
- If your dog currently receives one large meal per day, try dividing it into two or three mini meals. These mini-meals will sustain his appetite longer. Instead of treats, give him an extended amount of affection.
- At your vet’s recommendation, increase his exercise routine to burn more energy. Play fetch with a new toy, or go for an extra-long walk after work. However, don't push too hard at first. Just like people, dogs need time to get used to a new exercise routine.
- Get the entire family on board. Explain how treats can contribute to weight gain, and ask for everyone’s cooperation.
Diets that are specifically formulated for dogs undergoing weight loss can help reduce hunger and protect against essential nutrient deficiencies during caloric restriction.