Is your dog getting obese? No worries! You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to help your dog slim down. Nutrition habits, physical activity, and breed have an influence on dog weight. So, it’s important to ensure that everything is in balance. A healthy weight goes a long way in keeping your pooch fit and active. Well, before we dive further, let’s understand some basics.
Is Your Dog Obese?
Before you put your dog on a diet, it’s important to figure out if he actually needs it. Start by feeling his ribs and spine. Ideally, you should be able to detect both with a slight layer of fat between the bones and skin. If you can’t find them, your dog is overweight. It’s a good idea to ask your veterinarian to evaluate his size at every check-up. In addition, ask for his optimal weight. Anything above 15% that weight is considered obese. Well, your dog is not alone. In fact, a 2011 study mentions that 53% of dogs either overweight or obese.
Blame it on the Breed
Every dog breed is different. While some breeds are prone to obesity, others like German Shepherds, Greyhounds, Yorkshire Terriers are slim. Small breeds with a propensity to gain weight include Scottish Terriers, Dachshunds, Cairn Terriers, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Medium and large breeds include Cocker Spaniels, Beagles, Basset Hounds, Rottweilers, Golden Retrievers, Saint Bernards, and New Foundlands.
Are you Responsible for Making Your Dog Fat?
Genetics is something that you cannot control but that’s not the only reason your dog is getting fat. You might be responsible for it. As a pet owner, it’s your right to pamper your dog with attention and good food. But, there is a certain limit to that. It’s understandable that you want to keep your pet happy but feeding him too much, you’re just compromising his health. So, curb your instinct to offer any additional treats between meals.
Portion Control is Important
Knowing the correct portion size is the key to controlling your dog’s weight. It depends on a lot of factors such as the size, breed, and age of your dog. So, a good idea is to contact a veterinarian, who can offer the right insight about the frequency and size of the portion. They have knowledge and experience to suggest the best diet plan for dogs. In addition, the veterinarian can provide you with some valuable tips that can help you in feeding your dog properly.
Helping Your Dog Slim Down
Once you’re sure that your dog is overweight, you need to take the right steps towards helping him slim down. Start by analyzing everything your dog eats on a regular basis. This includes normal meals, snacks, and treats given by your family members, dog walkers, and neighbors. You might realize that you need to curb these to control your dog’s weight. Instead, get a bit creative and offer something healthy. These include veggies, chicken, and rice cakes. Maintain a strict check on the quantity you’re feeding. It’s a good idea to note the portion size and stick to it. Apart from that, you can reduce the daily food intake by up to 20% for a period of 6 to 8 weeks. If you are not sure about that, you can ask your veterinarian to educate you about the portion size based on your dog’s weight, size, and age.
Don’t Surrender to Begging
When you cut down the portion size, you should expect your dog to whine and beg for food. Well, that’s where you need to keep the control. If you share a deep emotional connection with your dog, you might be tempted to give him some love in the form of more food. But, by doing that, you’re only contributing to more weight. So, just remember that you’re cutting the portion size for your dog’s better health. It will keep him more active and productive in the long run.
Get Your Dog to Exercise
Just like us, dogs need exercise to stay fit and healthy. Along with a healthy diet, a good exercise routine is fit to keep your dog in the right shape and size. In addition, it keeps them active and away from any health risk. So, a good idea is to take him for a walk every day. Develop a schedule to figure out what time works best for you. If you’re not available, hire a dog walker who can do the job for you. Along with these, make a habit of playing some fun games with your dog. It gives them a boost and keeps them cheerful. Well, it works both ways. If you’re battling some mental health issues, this exercise routine can be a great way to bond together. In fact, it can be your emotional support dog.
Emotional Support Animal Laws Help You Lead a Healthy Life
If you register your dog as an ESA, you’ll be glad to know that the law protects your right as a pet owner. This means that if you have an ESA letter, you have the legal right to live and fly with your pet without any hassle. So, while you take care of your dog’s weight, he can do the same for your mental health. It has surely been a great inclusion for pet owners across the country.