Overweight Dogs: Can My Dog Lose Weight?
Although a fat, pudgy dog can be super cute, if your dog is carrying excess weight, he may be suffering physically. Many dogs are prone to be overweight or even obese. Other dogs may simply be suffering from a lack of exercise, or may be eating the wrong types of food. Perhaps your veterinarian has recommended that your dog drop a few pounds. If your dog is overweight, you can help him to lose some excess doggie flab. Obese dogs, just like obese humans, don’t live as long as their slimmer counterparts. And as the dog’s owner, it is up to you to keep him properly fed, socialized, and exercised. The tips that follow can help your porky dog to get healthier.
Feeding Your Dog
Just as we humans can fall into a pattern of eating the wrong things, your dog can fall into the same patterns – albeit you are the one who is feeding him. If you are feeding him from the table or table scraps, this can be detrimental to your dog’s health. A large dog needs two or three small meals each day instead of one big feast. Feed your dog a healthy dog food that is enriched with vitamins and minerals. Until you find a brand of healthy dog food that your dog will actually eat, purchase the smallest bag available in each brand. Your veterinarian can help you select good choices when it comes to healthy food for your dog to eat during its “diet”. After finding the right kind of dog food for your beefy dog, you can then start adding crushed veggies (steamed beforehand) to their food. Many people automatically assume that dogs only like meats, eggs, and so on, but lots of dogs enjoy vegetables and they can get a lot of extra minerals and vitamins from veggies that can help them shed excess weight.
Exercising Your Dog
Food adjusted, its time for the fun part – exercising your dog. Leash your dog and head out to the nearest park for some quality running, walking, and playing. Allow the dog ample time to rest during his exercise periods. Keep a portable dog bowl and plenty of water for the dog so that he doesn’t become overheated. Slowly add a longer course to your daily jaunts and walk for a longer period of time. Aim to get a minimum of thirty minutes of exercise each day. If you have a pool, don’t forget that your dog is a natural swimmer – and swimming is a great exercise for weight loss. Varying your dog’s workout will keep both you and the dog entertained, which means that you will have a greater success rate.
Reward Your Dog with Praise and Love
While doggie is dieting, it is important to avoid giving him any additional treats. Many dog treats are laden with fat and are not even that filling. Instead, reward your dog for a job well done with loads of praise and lots of love. Rub him, pat him, and give him a big kiss – but don’t make food a reward as it will just encourage his poor nutritional habits.