If your dog is overweight this can pose a serious risk to its health. The good news is that helping your dog to lose weight safely is simple – just follow our tips below.
No More Unhealthy Treats
It’s often tempting to spoil your dog, especially during training periods when you want to reward good behaviour, or stressful times such as car journeys or trips away from home. Giving your dog treats is fine, but it’s important to make sure they are suitable treats and not anything which can be harmful to a canine digestive system. Good treats could be small quantities of fruit or raw vegetables, dental chews or specialist dog sticks made from 100% meat.
A Strict Dog’s Dinner
The phrase ‘sharing is caring’ doesn’t apply to our furry friends! Your dog needs to understand that your dinner is just for humans, and they have their own dinner which is completely separate. Make sure the whole family understands that giving leftovers to your dog is bad for its health and can cause weight gain as well as behavioural issues.
More Playtime, More Exercise
This one is beneficial for both you and your dog! Exercising more will help your dog to lose weight faster and is great for you too. Try to go on longer walks or fit in an extra walk to your usual daily routine. If you don’t have time to walk your dog twice every day, then join forces with a dog-owning friend and you can share the responsibility. Encourage all the family to play outside with your dog as much as possible and it will start to really shift those pounds.
Think Portion Control
Make sure your dog is just eating what it needs rather than what it wants. You can work out your dog’s daily calorie needs by searching online or speaking with your vet, and then plan your dog’s meals around this. When your dog needs to lose a little weight you can start by cutting portions by around 20-30% to make an instant difference – just make sure your pet is getting all of the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.
Do a Weekly Weigh-In
Your vet can help you work out a goal weight for your dog which will give you something to work towards. You can weigh your dog easily by standing on the scales with it, and then again without it and calculating the difference. Make sure that your dog’s weight loss is gradual over time as this is the healthiest way to lose weight.
Monitor Your Dog’s Progress
It’s a good idea to keep an eye on your dog’s weight even if you don’t think it’s overweight at the moment. Weight is a good indicator of overall health so when your weightloss programme is over, keep measuring your dog’s weight every month to make sure everything is as it should be. At Port Kennedy Vets we offer a free weight loss clinic for our clients where you can work with your vet to make sure your dog stays in top physical condition throughout its life.
To arrange a visit to one of our free weight loss clinics, call the Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital team today on 08 6555 5149 or visit our contact page for more ways to get in touch.