Just like humans, dogs can become overweight. This can lead to a number of health issues including cardiac disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, respiratory disorders, orthopaedic problems, osteoarthritis and cancer. Furthermore, an overweight dog will have lower energy levels and may find it difficult to participate in normal activities, such as walking and playing. Subsequently, dogs that are overweight are less likely to live a happy and healthy life. As a dog owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that your dog maintains an ideal weight and if your dog is overweight, it is your job to help it to lose weight. How to tell if your pet is overweight
Lightly place your hands along your dog’s rib cage. You should be able to feel the individual ribs but not see them. Stand above your dog. A defined waist line should be visible. Stand at your dog’s side. You should be able to see the upward tuck of the abdomen.
Weigh your dog on a regular basis
You can use home scales. First take a reading of your own individual weight. Then pick up your dog and weigh both of you together. Subtract your individual weight from the total weight to give you the weight of your dog. Use the scales at your local vets. If you are weighing your dog on a regular basis you could invest in a set of canine scales.
Visit your Vet
If you are concerned about your dog’s weight then visit your local vets. Your vet will help you work out a weight management program, through a structure diet and exercise plan to help your dog lose weight healthily.
Diet for an Overweight Dog
The majority of dogs are overweight because of their diet. It is therefore important to take a look at what you are feeding your dog. Table scraps and human food are often the cause of weight gain. Feeding a high quality natural nutritious and well balanced diet is a better option for your dog. An all natural dog food, such as Naturo, contains appropriate proteins and fat levels to help your dog maintain an ideal weight. Naturo is also available in Light Chicken and Rice with vegetables, containing 40% less fat.
Feeding your dog too many high calorie treats will also pack on the pounds. Treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s total diet and a lesser percentage for weight loss.
It is also important not to over feed your dog. As a general guide follow the feeding instructions on the packaging of your dog food. However, every dog is individual thus if you suspect your dog is gaining weight, through its diet, ask your vet to help you to determine the right amount of food. Always make sure your dog has access to fresh drinking water.
Exercise for Overweight Dogs
Exercise and play should be part of your dog’s daily routine. If your dog is overweight you might need to increase the distance of its walk. Do this by increasing the length of walk a little each day. Exercise may not be suitable for all dogs. This may be the case if your dog has an injury, illness or is obese. Consult your vet to find alternative substitutes, example, water training or physical therapy. Remember, as with us, if your dog looses weight very quickly it will more than likely put it back on just as quick. It is therefore important to set up a weight management program over a number of months.