Just like with humans, dogs dream about eating all day long, but unlike humans, they will almost always do so if given the opportunity. Although it’s usually not too difficult for us to manage and maintain our weight, you’ll likely find that dogs don’t care at all about how much they eat, which makes it the responsibility of the owner to ensure their dog doesn’t become overweight. It’s actually quite easy for this to happen and doesn’t necessarily occur out of negligence, so in this article we provide a few great and simple tips to help your chunky dog get into a healthy weight range by losing a few kilograms.
Manage your dog’s food intake
Helping your dog lose weight can be a long process, but doing so can be good for both you and your four-legged friend. If you’re still using the excuse that you don’t have time to take care of your pet’s weight, make sure to consider that a healthy dog will become less unwell, and you won’t have to keep updating your pet insurance in Australia to factor in heftier premiums. All it takes is a few simple habits to help your animal lose weight (even if it is a bit of a slow process sometimes). Perhaps the simplest thing you can do is be stricter with your dog’s diet – the food you’re currently feeding it likely has contributed to some extent, so now is the time to stop. For starters, not feeding your dog snacks constantly will help prevent them from ingesting a prohibitive number of kilojoules (despite the likelihood it might make you both sad to limit the snack feeding). Instead, look to introducing some specialty diet food to help fast-track your dog’s weight loss – with this food, your dog can receive all of the nutrients it needs without the hefty fat and carbohydrate intake.
How to tell if your dog needs to lose weight
One of the issues people have when it comes to the weight loss of their animal is not realising when they need to help their dog lose weight – they might just think their dog is extra cuddly and cute! To better understand whether your dog needs to lose weight, you should keep in mind that if you can’t easily feel their ribs or they look less like their typical hourglass shape (and more like a dog roll), then they are very likely overweight and need to get back on track to being a slimmer canine. Overweight pets will also demonstrate their poor health in their behaviour, as they will be less likely to play or exercise in general due to their weight making movement difficult. If you do find that your dog is overweight, taking him into your vet is an excellent first step. Your vet will be able to inform you about what kind of diet your animal needs and how much food to give them, in addition to a tailored exercise plan that will ensure your dog doesn’t get over or underworked.
Exercise when possible
By taking your dog out for regular walks, you can help them not only burn off more energy than they’re ingesting, but the movement can help speed up their metabolic rate to the point where they can burn off more energy even when they’re inactive. If you find that your dog is having a tough time with long walks at the start, you might want to consider something like swimming, as this form of exercise can be less strenuous on their joints.