Just as obesity has become a lifestyle disease in humans, more and more dogs are also struggling with too many pounds around the middle.
When your dog has put on extra weight, it can be difficult to accept and even harder to do something about it. However, even a small weight increase can mean a lot.
One or two kilograms can have major consequences for your dog's long-term health.
Even one extra kilogram is too much
To understand how much one kilogram means, calculate how much it corresponds as a percentage to the dog's normal weight. For example, if your dog weighs 10 kilograms, one kilogram is equivalent to 10% of her body weight.
Dogs often experience sore joints, legs, and have breathing problems after being overweight for prolonged periods.
Many dogs have a high status in their family, and are often the "extra" child in the family who also needs Friday "snacks" and a few extra treats during the day.
In addition to increased exercise, and keeping in mind your dog's overall state of health, the following five tips can be an effective way to get your dog back in top shape.
Five weight-loss tips from DogCoach
- Drop or minimize the amount of treats or snacks during the day.
- If you train your dog using food treats as a reward, remember to offset the amount from the dog's daily meals.
- Let your dog eat from things other than the food bowl. This will make mealtime last longer and your dog will not quickly scarf down her whole meal. Try spreading dry food on the lawn, or create active games for feeding.
- Swimming can be a great way to exercise dogs with bad legs or joints without straining the body.
- Think about choosing foods with the least fat content. Dog food is much more concentrated today than before. Measure carefully rather than going by what looks right.
Most importantly, keep in mind that your dog should not get used to eating when you eat. And last but not least, resist those big, begging eyes!
Remember, you, as a dog owner, are responsible for ensuring your dog's health throughout her life.