Weight loss is difficult for both human and animals. According to a survey, over half our nation’s cats and dogs are overweight.
It means that almost 80 million pets are at risk for having crippling arthritis, debilitating diabetes, kidney and heart problems, high blood pressure and many kinds of cancer.
So, the question is, how you could slim down your overweight pet, keep them healthy and fit and reduce the risk of developing many serious diseases?
The answer is easy. Try the following tips to lower down extra weight from your pet and keep them fit and slim.
Is Your Dog Overweight?
How do you tell if your lovely dog gains a few pounds and become obese?
The dog is the most genetically diverse animal in the world. When viewed from a birds-eye view, every dog has a different range for their ideal weight; however, inside this range every dog will have an hourglass figure.
You should be able to see a specific waistline, and you may feel their body and ribs should be palpable. However, you should not be able to see these evident things.
If you observe heavy panting, respiratory distress, general reluctance to move along with what appears to be extra weight, you should be thinking about a dog diet.
Speak with a Professional
Your vet will feel happy to discuss the issue with you regarding your dog and will be able to offer advice and strategies to make them slim and healthy.
They will weight your dog and to establish where they fall in relation to the average weight of their breed; it will give you better idea if they are overweight.
You can see progress if any of your efforts are making a difference and be held accountable by your consultant.
They also examine potential health issues that could have been caused by extra weight, including:
- Respiratory compromise
- Heat intolerance
- High blood pressure
- Diabetes or Insulin Resistance
- Liver disease
- Low immunity
Be honest with your vet and about any concerns you have witnessed with your dog; they will be in a leading position to advise steps moving forward.
During your dog’s weight loss, you need to plan a regularly check in with your vet, if you have a plan in advance, you are more likely to stick to it.
A proper diet plan is essential for all but has particular importance for those dogs who are obese.
Use High Protein Kibble
As a pet owner, you must understand what you are feeding and why? You must read the label on food bag and check the following things:
- What is the first ingredient?
- What are the nutritional values of the food?
- How many calories does it have?
The essential ingredients in a dog’s diet are protein and fat:
- Protein is vigorous for cell function, repair and maintenance.
- Fat is necessary for energy, especially in high energy dog.
The food guidelines suggest that at least 18% of fully-grown dog’s diet should be protein and 5% should be fat. If you look at several dog food labels, It should be carbohydrates. Here, many pet owners get confused.
However, carbohydrates are not bad for dogs as they do metabolize carbs for energy, the problem is the sheer amount controlled in many mainstream dog foods when you are trying to help your pet to lose weight.
Studies show that when you fed the same number of calories, those dogs take a low-carb but higher protein diet which lost more body weight than those dogs fed a high carb and low protein diet.
You must consider a high protein diet in your dog’s weight loss plan. We know that water has a low caloric value, so consider canned food as compared to dry.
You even don’t have any idea about how many calories your dog needs a day; you also don’t know how much to feed.
Don’t think you can trust the bag because feeding guides formulated for adult, un-neutered active pets.
If you have followed the food’s instructions that have an older, spayed or neutered indoor lap potato, you are feeding approximately 20% to 30% to your dog.
Except this, ask your vet to calculate the exact numbers of calories your dog needs per day.
You can also count down the number of calories by using this formula; divide your dog’s weight by 2.2 and multiply this number by 30. Add 70, and you have got an idea of how many calories you should be feeding regular inactive, indoor spayed pet weighing between 6 and 60 pounds.
The metabolism is different in each pet, so consult with your vet before starting a diet.
A single most excellent tool for pet owners in the fight against overweight is a measuring cup.
Many pet parents fill the bowl or “guesstimate” how much they are feeding?
Some pets are fed an all-day buffet that results from the “just keep the bowl full” feeding method.
The studies done by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention show that feeding as few as 10 extra small kibbles of food per day can add up to a pound of weight gain per year in small dogs.
After the calculation of how much calories your pet needs to determine how much food you should feed in each meal and measure it.
Keep Your Discipline
Many pet owners struggle with weight loss because they feel guilty for putting their dogs on a diet. They look up at you with sad eyes when they realize you have not given them enough food in their bowl.
Dogs are scavengers; it’s a trait that domesticated them from the ancient wolf. When it comes to food they don’t have an off switch as many of us when we have got that tub of ice cream.
Dogs also learn through reinforcement; they have learned from you if they look at you for long time, you will give in and pop another scoop of food in their dish.
Remember, you need to reduce their calories to avoid the risk of life-threatening health issues. Consult with your vet to ensure that they are getting enough calories if you don’t feel like there is enough food in your dog’s bowl to keep him satisfied.
Control Helping Hands
You must make sure that other dog-parents or friends are not secretly feeding your dog. It is often other dog’s friends can spoil your dog’s weight loss plan.
It is right in the case of smaller dogs whose calories intake is susceptible.
You might screen his calories, decreasing and viewing everything that goes into his mouth, however, if the children are as yet giving him scraps, the neighbors tossing treats over the fence and your Auntie bolstering him sandwiches when she pops in to allow him to out, he won’t shed pounds.
Increase Physical Activity
Any physical activity can also help to lose your dog’s weight. Creating a calorie deficit is necessary for weight loss plan, but physical activity also has a part to play.
A calorie is the measurement of energy in something. When the dogs move, eat, sleep, or train, they burn calories all the time. So, the more active dog will utilize more calories.
That is the reason why working dogs often use more calories as compared to pet dogs.
Many dogs should have a minimum of two walks per day, with additional mental stimulation and brain performance they require energy too.
I hope these tips will help your dog to lose weight as it needs to continue living a long and healthy life.
Heavy weight make your pet lazy and dull so keep maintaining the weight.
Do exercise, choose suitable food like high protein and low calorie food and high fiber dog food etc.