Dog weight loss can be very frustrating to undertake, but it has to be done if your dog has gotten overweight and you want him to stay healthy.
There was research done in 2017, which shows that about 50% of dogs in the United States were either overweight or were obese.
This means that about 40 million dogs that are at risk of developing any of these conditions:
- Debilitating diabetes
- Crippling arthritis
- Kidney diseases
- Heart diseases
Most of the dog owners and to be precise 58% said that they made sure that they followed dog weight loss tips.
Overweight dogs, generally have a poor quality of life. This is not something that any dog lover would want to see happening to their pooches.
What could all the dog owners be doing wrong? And what could you do for your furry friend?
It may be simpler than you think.
Meeting your dog’s exercise requirements is one of the top tips that you should follow.
These are some of the other things that you should do apart from exercise.
Contents and Quick Navigation
- 1. First, determine if your dog is overweight
- 2. Visit your vet on dog weight loss
- 3. Calculate your dog’s calories
- 4. Increase the rate of exercise (slowly)
- 5. Reduce carbs for weight loss
- 6. You can use some help in your dog weight loss journey
- 7. Measure and monitor what you feed your dog
- 8. Cut back on treats
- 9. If you have other pets, feed them separately
- 10. Be disciplined with your dog weight loss plan
1. First, determine if your dog is overweight
It is easier for a human to know when they are putting on some weight for example when one of the favorite clothes starts becoming tighter.
But it may be hard to tell when your dog is starting to gain some weight.
This is because they neither wear clothes or speak.
One way you can determine this by feeling their ribs that should be palpable but should not be seen. Also, your dog needs to have a definite waistline.
Something else that you can them out after an exercise session, they should not be winded but they can pant.
If your dog starts having respiratory problems, heavy panting, reluctance to movement or any other general lethargy you should start watching their diet.
Generally, dogs that have the right weight and are healthy should be enthusiastic about movement.
So, if by any chance you suspect or know that your canine friend needs weight loss, what should you do?
Continue reading as we explore these tips.
2. Visit your vet on dog weight loss
Obesity in dogs can pose a very serious risk to him. These are not some few extra pounds as some may think.
Your vet is the first person that should cross your mind when you are looking for advice on how they reduce your dog’s weight. They will be more than happy to talk to you about your dog’s weight, health, and what you can do about it.
Your veterinarian is going to determine the average weight of your dog’s breed by weighing him. He/she will help you conclude if your dog is overweight or not.
Here is the best place where you can come up with the right strategies for your pooch to lose weight.
You should be able to monitor the weight of your ball of fluff. Check if the efforts you are putting in are making a positive difference. Your vet should also keep you accountable.
They may also examine any of the following health conditions that may be caused by gaining weight in excess;
- Respiratory compromise
- Low immunity
- High blood pressure
- Liver disease
- Diabetes or Insulin Resistance
- Heat intolerance
If your pooch has had any changes in his behavior you should be honest with your vet.
Then you should come with a plan on how you are going to be doing regular checkups for your doggo. Make a plan to help you better in sticking to it.
3. Calculate your dog’s calories
Calories are the number of energy that is found in food.
By knowing how many calories your furry friend is going to need in a day will help you better in knowing how much food you should give to them.
Do not just feed your dog by just following the instructions on the label. You will need to do more than that because of adults and puppies have different feeding guidelines.
What this means is that you may be feeding your dog more or less what he is supposed to have.
You can ask your veterinarian to help you calculate the right number of calories that your pooch needs.
Another option is to use the calorie calculator on this link to calculate the number of calories.
Controlling the number of calories that you give to your pooch is one of the most effective ways to help your dog cut weight.
By following the calorie guidelines that are given to you by your vet you should be able to cut your dog’s weight by 3-
5% in the first month.
You should also continue visiting your veterinarian if you are not seeing any progress.
4. Increase the rate of exercise (slowly)
Just as we had mentioned above exercise is the best thing that you can do for dog weight loss.
Feeding your dog on the right number of calories is one way. But also increasing physical activities can be helpful.
Increasing physical activities can help burn up the extra calories. Dogs burn calories every time, when they train, move around, and even when they are sleeping.
For most dogs, two 25 minutes walk works great. This should be coupled with some games and mental stimulation activities. The brain also uses energy and mentally stimulating activities would make sense too.
Your pooch may have respiratory problems and introducing an exercise routine would do no good. The first thing you need to do is reduce the calorie. Allow your dog to lose some weight before introducing exercise slowly.
Some dogs like the mini-Bulldog have obesity and respiratory problems because of the shape of their heads. You should be mindful if you have such a breed. These breeds are known as brachycephalic.
For such dogs, you should only walk them during the cooler parts of the day.
Do not use treats as a reward during mental stimulation exercises.
Once your furry friend has cut enough weight and is healthy enough you can consider running with them.
5. Reduce carbs for weight loss
Most dogs do not need a high-carbohydrate diet, yet this is what most of us feed to them.
If you analyze the food label you will realize that most of the foods contain 60% or more carbs.
The diet that you give to your dog should be more protein than carbs. Also, consult your vet before you make any changes to the diet of your canine friend.
This does not mean that your pooch should not be feed on carbohydrates. They are also important as dogs metabolize some of them for energy. The problem is the high amount found in food and which are not important in dog weight loss.
So, what should you feed to your pooch?
Feed your dog on a high protein diet
Before buying kibble or any other food for your dog, you should always check the label. That is what responsible dog owners do.
- Understand what you should give to your dog and why.
- How many calories the diet has.
- What are the main ingredients?
- Is your doggo getting the right nutritional value from the food?
These are some of the things that you should always keep in mind.
Some of the most important nutrients are fats and proteins. Proteins are necessary for the maintenance of the body, cell function, and repair.
Fats, on the other hand, are important for energy provision. 5% fats and 18% of proteins are the recommended guidelines.
Dogs thrive best when their diets are more protein. These should be high-quality protein to help them build lean muscle.
Therefore, in your dog weight loss plan you should consider diets that are high on proteins.
I would also recommend that other than getting dry food, try canned foods as they contain more water. Water has a low calorific value.
6. You can use some help in your dog weight loss journey
Othe dog owners, friends, and family can help you a lot when it comes to your dog’s weight loss.
You should make sure that they are not feeding your pooch behind your back.
This is not to say that they have any bad intentions with your dog but they are usually meaning well. Your colleague may think that that donut he/she is eating is good for the dog. Your kids giving him that extra sandwich is not healthy or neighbors that may be throwing him treats as he strolls.
You should let them know that you are on a dog weight loss plan.
Especially for smaller dog breeds where every extra calorie that is given to the dog matters.
Everyone close to the dog should know the health risks of having an overweight dog.
7. Measure and monitor what you feed your dog
Measuring the amount of food you give to your dog is critical.
Once you have figured out your dog’s calorie intake after a visit to your vet, you should stick to that amount of food.
The guidelines on the packaging are what you should use to know how much your dog should eat in grams.
Measure, do not guess and this is where some you dog lovers may go wrong. You may fail to read the instructions and measure. Those 12 extra kibbles can add up to some pounds over time.
An electronic measure is your best friend when you are doing this accurately.
You can use a container that fits the right amount of food and use it to make it easier.
8. Cut back on treats
Reward your dog using fun stuff like toys is better than using treats. But if you have to give him treats avoid junk treats.
Most of the treats that are out there are laden with sugar that contains a lot of calories which can destroy the health of your pooch.
Get treats that are high on protein and break them into smaller pieces to avoid overfeeding.
However, it would be better if you avoid treats if you are on a dog weight loss plan. Non-food rewards are way better.
Top-tip – If you know that your dogs have had too many treats cut on the amount on the food you give to him that day.
9. If you have other pets, feed them separately
Some of the tips that I have given to you may seem too easy but if you have other animals in the house it becomes even harder.
If you feed your dog in the same room as your cat, he may end up finishing up his food and eating the cat’s food.
Feed them separately and if it possible at different times.
10. Be disciplined with your dog weight loss plan
Putting your dog on a diet is not a crime. It is best for you and your canine friend when he is losing weight.
Let those innocent eyes looking up to you not trick you. Your dog probably knows that you feed him every time he is doing this.
But if you feel like the food you are giving to your pooch is too little the first person you should consult is your vet. Once your veterinarian confirms the right calorie intake you can go ahead and keep on with it.
Your vet can also check your dog’s hormones if you have followed his guidelines but it is not paying off.
There are conditions such as sluggish thyroids that can cause hormonal problems making it more difficult for your dog to shed some weight.
As we have seen dog weight loss is a journey that needs you to be dedicated.
Having a dog that has the right weight is good for the happiness of both you and your dog.
We hope that you found our 10 top tips helpful for your pooch to have a healthy and long life.
Has your dog put on some weight recently? Give us your feedback in the comment section below.
you go WOOF!
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