So you have been told your four legged friend needs to go on a diet and lose weight. You are not alone. It is estimated that almost half of the dogs living in the United States are either overweight or obese. What exactly do you do to help your dog lose weight? You don’t have to come up with some complicated diet plan for her. Think about what you do to lose weight. Isn’t the general rule that you are supposed to burn more calories than you take in and get plenty of exercise? The same holds true for dogs.
How to Help Your Dog Lose Weight
Let’s talk obesity for a second. We know how bad obesity is in humans and no one thinks ‘it’s cute’ when we are overweight. Sometimes we (or others) think an overweight dachshund is cute. The reality is that obesity is just as harmful to dogs. Being overweight can be life-threatening and cause problems such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disorders, and cancerous tumors. Just like we will live longer when we are healthy, so will your dog. You can add a whole two years to your pet’s life if you can maintain a healthy weight for him! So what do you do?
Eat less: It is important to keep 3 things in mind when you are looking at what you feed your dog for kibble. You want to find kibble that has above average protein, below average fat and below average calories (250 to 350 calories per cup). Skip the table scraps! You know the mom who picks off her kids’ plates while she is making dinner and then sits down to eat her own meal? She will often look back and say that was part of her struggle in losing weight, the extras that she didn’t need. Feeding your dog from the table, or people food in general, is the extras he doesn’t need. Not to mention there are many things are there that are harmful and potentially fatal to dogs.
Exercise more: Get out of the house! This will be good for you too. Dogs need exercise, no matter how small they may be. Even your little Yorkie needs to be walked daily. Not only will it keep them moving and active but it helps their brain as well. So take your dog for a walk, run or even out hiking. You may find you have new outside activities you enjoy as well! Maybe your dog will help you to stay fit in turn!
It can be easy to let our dogs get overweight and we don’t realize it. The important thing to remember is that when your vet tells you your dog is overweight, you should listen and make some changes to help him be as healthy as he can be. You want him to live a long and healthy life with you right?
What are some things you have done in the past to help your dog lose weight? Did you in turn benefit as well? Share your stories with us below!