When your beloved pet is starting to gain weight, it might be time to worry.
As overweight and obese animals often have to deal with many weight-related health problems, you should consider tackling this issue before it is too late.
Getting your dog back to its ideal weight might be challenging. However, by being aware of how your dog looks and by implementing a few healthy habits, you can successfully achieve this goal.
Experts from Euro Puppy helped us determine all the necessary weight-loss tips that will help your dog lose some of its excess pounds. Here is how you can keep your pup in good condition.
1. Go for Long Walks
It is crucial to make sure that your dog stays active. Dogs that lead an inactive lifestyle are often overweight and at a much higher risk of developing various health problems. If you want your dog to maintain a healthy weight, you should take it for walks at least once a day.
Walks are great for a dog’s overall health, facilitating lower blood pressure, stronger muscles, bones, decreased stress, and risk of developing cardiovascular disease and other illnesses.
If your dog is too heavy, you should consider getting a lighter leash. It is also essential to use the harness instead of the collar since the collar adds extra pressure to the neck and can result in skin irritation and many other problems.
Apart from just going for a walk, your dog must have a sufficient amount of physical activity to stay healthy and happy.
Moreover, if your dog is already overweight, you should use any opportunity to exercise. Ensure that your pet keeps moving by spending more time playing with it to help your dog control their appetite and lose some extra pounds.
If your dog is not fond of physical exercise, you can use toys or training techniques to encourage it.
Remember to be patient and kind when interacting with your pet, and introduce the training slowly and firmly. Never punish your pet if something goes wrong if you want your dog to have a strong, positive association with exercising.
3. Correct the Diet
A balanced and calorie-counted diet is a must for keeping your dog in its best shape. If you want your dog to lose some of its weight, it is necessary to choose the food with fewer calories, and there is no better way to do it than consult with your veterinarian.
Together you will be able to determine whether a grain-inclusive or grain-free diet will be more beneficial for your dog and which signs to monitor as a precaution.
By choosing this option, you will not only ensure that your animal is at a good weight but also reduce the likelihood of developing various allergies and diseases.
4. Regulate Bowl Feeding
Regulating bowl feeding is crucial to make sure that your pet does not overeat regularly. You should not allow it to eat all the food in the bowl in one sitting and ensure that your dog doesn’t eat too fast, as this will stimulate the pet’s appetite and might result in gaining more weight than needed.
It would be more helpful to give each meal in small portions and always leave some food in the bowl. You can achieve this by training your dog to stop eating when you say so or acquiring a special slow feeder bowl.
5. Use Treats Wisely
Another way to control your dog’s appetite is by giving it treats wisely. For example, use them as rewards for good behavior only and limit their intake during training sessions.
This way, you will avoid overfeeding and avoid making your dog dependent on treats to get excited about anything.
There are numerous treats on the market, which can make your dog gain extra weight – make sure to always look for the healthiest option available.
Instead of giving your dog treats that are full of fat and are hard to process (bones, for example), opt for healthy treats, like fruits, vegetables, and meat-based snacks.
6. Consider Supplements
Apart from adjusted diet and exercise, an overweight dog may need some smart supplements to promote weight loss.
Some of them can be found naturally in plant or animal sources, and others are pharmaceutical drugs. Here are some effective and safe supplements to consider:
- Omega-3 fatty acids from fish or coconut oil. Studies show that dogs whose diets include omega-3 tend to lose significantly more weight than those without it. Besides, omega-3 is rich in potent antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties, which is beneficial for digestion as well as heart health.
- L-carnitine. It is an amino acid that helps your dog’s body cells to produce energy from fats, facilitating fat usage. It is the safest and the most efficient supplement to enhance your dog’s calorie-restricted diet with.
- Dirlotapide. It is an FDA-approved drug developed specially for obese and overweight dogs, mainly used as an appetite suppressant.
Make sure to consult with your dog’s veterinarian before giving any of these supplements (or others found on the internet) to your pet, even if they are considered harmless. It will allow you to determine which of the available supplements will work best for your dog and get the correct dosage.
7. Always Monitor Your Dog’s Weight
Do not wait until you notice that your dog is overweight or obese. Regularly check your pet’s weight and keep an eye on it.
Excessive weight is something you want to prevent rather than deal with it later, as If you do not catch it early, it may lead to serious weight-related health problems.
Make sure to feed your dog correctly and allocate enough time for physical activity from the very beginning. You can also consult your pet’s diet and recommended amount of exercises with a veterinarian to ensure you’re on the right track.
Weight loss is a long process, which requires a lot of commitment and dedication. Moreover, it is not your dog’s fault but a result of your improper care for it. Thus, you must be patient while your dog gradually loses its excess pounds and make this process as comfortable and entertaining as possible.
Don’t start with harsh restrictions or punishments, as this will only increase your dog’s stress and discomfort levels. Losing weight is not about changing your dog’s diet only, so make sure to provide your pet with all the love and support you are capable of on its way to a healthy shape.