No matter how much you love your canine companion, allowing them to become overweight is only doing them a disservice. Not only are overweight dogs prone to health issues and physical injuries, but this may literally serve to shorten their life overall. That said, the following is a list of ways to manage your dog’s weight.
Cut Out the Carbs
One of the top ways to help manage your dog’s weight is by cutting out the carbohydrates. Many of the foods we tend to feed our dogs are high in carbohydrates, which makes it easier for them to gain and maintain excess weight. In general, it is best to feed your dog high protein dog food, while reducing the number of carbs. Another cause of carbs in dog food is fillers, which are often made of grain. Grain is also a common allergy for dogs, so you may want to look into grain-free dog food for more that one reason. In the long run, this will help your dogs shed those extra pounds and keep them off over time.
Much like humans, our doggy companions can become overweight and lethargic if they are not getting enough exercise. Moreover, in addition to weight loss, walking your dog daily can help to:
- Improve cardiovascular health
- Boost their immune system
- Can reduce behavioral issues
Walking your dog for 20-30 minutes a day will not only help your dog lose weight but you will be helping to boost their health overall.
Learn the Difference Between Hunger and Begging
One of the major contributing factors to an overweight dog lies in the habits of the owner, more so than the dog themselves. In particular, if you are the type that gives your dog food or treats whenever they beg or seem upset, you may be the reason your dog has gained so much weight. However, if you take the time to use better discernment with regard to when you should feed them, as opposed to giving them a chew toy or finding another way to improve their mood, you can help your dog get to a healthier weight.
Scrap the Table Scraps
While it can be very tempting to share your table food with your dog, this often does more harm than good. Despite the fact that they will definitely beg for your food and do everything in their power to nab your crumbs from the floor, you should do everything in your power to prevent this from becoming a common practice. One great way to do this is by feeding your dog their own food in another room while your family is eating dinner. Alternately, you can also toss your dog a small treat instead of literally throwing them a bone from your own meal.
Create a Custom Diet
Last but not least, creating a customized diet for your diet is one of the best ways to manage your dog’s weight. All dogs have specific dietary requirements. Taking the time to understand the dietary needs of your own dog and sticking to those guidelines as much as possible is an excellent way to keep your dog as healthy as possible as well as manage their weight over time. You can also turn to weight loss dog food for help if the problem isn’t improving.
Overall, there are various ways to manage your dog’s weight. While this list is a great start, it is by no means exhaustive. If you are struggling to manage your dog’s weight, be sure to contact a veterinarian you can trust to learn more about your dog’s dietary needs.