While it is unhealthy for a human to be overweight, the same goes for dogs. You may not think much of your dog being overweight, but having too many extra pounds piled on can lead to medical issues. Before any health problems can develop, there are steps that you can take not only to help your dog lose weight, but to prevent him from being overweight again in the future.
Many dog owners love spoiling their dogs once in awhile by giving them certain types of human food. Although it is fine to give a small morsel once in awhile, giving it to them too often along with their regular dog food can contribute to their weight gain. In addition, some human foods can be dangerous for animals to eat, so before giving your pet any type of human food, have a conversation with your vet about what types of food are safe.
Dogs need play and exercise just as humans do. Chances are mentioning the word “walk” causes your dog’s ears to perk up and makes him to run to the door. If you want to help your dog lose weight, consider upping the amount of exercise he gets per day. Go for a longer walk, toss the chew toy around indoors and help him to knock off the extra pounds. A benefit is that while he is getting extra exercise, you are as well.
Leaving your dog’s food out all day for him to munch on may seem like no big deal, but it could be a reason why he is gaining weight. Constantly eating will not help him to lose the extra pounds. Instead of leaving a bowl of food out, stick to feeding him only at his regular mealtime. Also, avoid giving too many treats, which can be a contributing factor in his weight gain. Consider giving one small treat a day if he finishes his dinner.
While you may be sticking to a plan of helping your dog lose weight, it will not work if others in the home are not doing the same. Have a conversation with them and explain how important it is to work as a family to help the dog lose weight. If everyone sticks to the plan, it should help your dog lose weight quicker than if everyone were to be sneaking him food under the table.
Changing your dog’s exercise and eating habits can be slightly difficult to get accustomed to at first but, if you want your dog to lose weight and have an increased chance of staying healthy, it has to be done. Your dog is a part of your family, so having him healthy is worth making a few simple changes to his daily routine. Should you need any assistance or advice, the vet is only a phone call away and can answer any questions that you have.