With recent media reports of an obese Dachshund and other plump pets, we feel it’s a good time to review tips on caring for your overweight dog. Like humans, dogs need exercise and a sensible diet to stay healthy. Otherwise, they risk getting diabetes, liver problems and other ailments. Here are a few suggestions on how to help Fido reach a healthy weight.
Curb your loving attention
Yes, we know you love your dog. But try to avoid expressing your love by feeding them human food. Your dog enjoys getting your attention, whether it’s food related or not. The next time he begs, think playtime instead!
How to avoid temptation…
- Move Fido to another room while your family eats.
- Stay strong! Don’t reward his begging with food.
- Place all meals and treats in your dog’s bowl only.
- Feed only healthy dog treats in moderation.
Focus on portion control
Do you know how much food you should serve your dog? There is general information available, but your dog’s size, health and energy level are all factors. The dog food bag will give you guidance, and you can also ask your vet. Here are some additional tips:
- Choose a premium, natural or holistic food with less filler or consider feeding a “weight management” or “light” formula if your goal is helping your dog lose weight.
- Follow the manufacturer’s feeding recommendations on the amount of food and treats he’ll get each day.
Do the canine workout
Is your dog getting enough exercise? Remember, he needs to expend more calories than he’s eating and extra activity will help him keep that balance. If you have to exercise with him, just think of it as a healthy side benefit for you too.
- Take your dog for longer walks.
- Visit the dog park or set play dates with other dog owners.
- Encourage your dog to play fetch.
- Take him swimming during warm weather.
- Consider a doggy day care center.
Treating your dog’s weight problem now might avoid serious and costly health problems later. To get your dog on a healthy diet, start with a visit to your local Pet Supermarket for quality dog food and dog treats!