Many owners of overweight dogs ask us how to help a dog lose weight. Just like people, it is estimated 40% of all dogs in the U.S. are overweight and don’t get enough exercise. Some dogs are more prone to gaining weight than others. Like people, some dogs seem to enjoy food more than others and to eat almost anything they can find. If you don’t think it matters if your dog is overweight, guess again.
The Problem With Overweight Dogs
Overweight pets and dogs in particular will have a shorter life if they are overweight. Besides a shorter life span, they may also have problems with diabetes, arthritis, liver and heart problems. It is important to give him or her a longer, better quality life by making sure you help your dog lose weight and help them keep it off.
Tips to Help a Dog Lose Weight
The first thing you need to consider is how you feed your dog. If you give them table scraps, you need to stop and find a quality dog food that is recommended for your type dog. This may be diet food if you have a very overweight dog. Make sure that you pick a food they like and give them the recommended amount for the breed and size of your dog. Use the ideal body weight to determine the amount of food they need, not their current weight. You can ask your veterinarian in Richmond which food is best or if it would help to add steamed veggies to their dog food.
Avoid snacks that can cause your dog to be overweight. Carrots are a good choice if you are getting your dog used to better food and eliminating snacks in-between meals. If you train with snacks, make sure you use small portions.
It is always good to have your dog examined by your Richmond veterinarian before you begin an exercise program for your dog. Start out by walking your dog. Most breeds need to be walked daily anyway. If you notice your dog is breathing heavy, you should stop and rest in the shade for a 3 to 5 minutes and then continue. If your dog starts hyperventilating, you should call your veterinarian in Richmond to see what they suggest.
Once your dog is walking, you can add other exercise to your dog’s routine. Try letting them run off leash at the dog park or play ball with them in the yard. Most dogs require regular exercise even if you have a fenced in back yard. Dogs need to walk to help them with their weight and to give them exercise but they also need stimulation and a chance to explore.
If you have any concerns about your overweight dog, please call Advanced Animal Care and we will be happy to help you. Like you, we want to help you keep your dog healthy and happy.