When you think about weight loss for dogs, it seems like the solution should be a simple one: Feed them less. However, if it were truly this simple, then almost half of all dogs in America wouldn’t be considered overweight. Oftentimes, owners don’t even realize their pooch is overweight until the vet informs them, and quite often still do not believe, or agree with, the vet’s claims. Unfortunately, the more overweight your pet, the more likely they are to suffer from diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, high blood pressure, and ultimately an early death.
How You Can Help
The most important thing pet owners need to realize is the fact that your dog is entirely dependent on you to remain healthy. Think of it this way, you can extend their life by 2 years by simply keeping them at a healthy weight.
So with that being said, here are some simple ways to get your dog’s weight loss started:
- Stick to a strict feeding schedule. You should feed your pooch 2-4 small meals a day, rather than one large one in the morning. Don’t allow them to graze slowly on one meal throughout the day; this encourages them to eat when bored, not when they are hungry.
- Beware of some diet foods. Always check the ingredients before purchasing. Lower quality diet foods will include high carbohydrate fillers instead of actual meat. These will lead to your dog feeling full for a short period of time, and then feeling hungry longer. It’s also important to realize that many pet food companies market their products to their human consumers. All of those falling vegetables and oats in many big name commercials actually serve no nutritional value to dogs, and simply pass through their system undigested.
- Exercise! When it comes to weight loss for dogs, staying active is paramount. You should start out with slow walks, and increase the pace each week. Don’t push your overweight dog too much, but don’t allow them to stop and sniff every five feet. You should keep the pace brisk, and allow them to sniff on the way home.
- Work with a professional. A trained professional will be able to give you advice specifically catered to your pooch. They may recommend swimming instead of walking if their joints seem sore. They can also recommend certain foods or treats that won’t be counterproductive to losing weight.
Learn More About Weight Loss for Dogs
If you would like more information about weight loss for dogs, feel free to visit us at the Tampa Bay K-9 Rehabilitation Center. Our 500 square foot facility offers individualized treatment plans for overweight dogs. From hydrotherapy to dry land exercises with ramps and stairs, we can get your pooch back to a healthy weight! To get started, fill out our contact form or call us today at 727-521-3518!