Overweight dogs may look adorable to some dog parents, but obesity in dogs is not a joke! Most dogs love to eat, and most dog owners love to feed them. Unfortunately, dogs are not always the best dieticians, which sometimes leads to obesity in dogs.
According to a survey, USA has the highest population of overweight
Dogs. In North America 20% – 30% of dogs are overweight.
It was considered that fat tissue in our body is not harmful. It just stores extra calories. But recent studies have revealed that fatty tissue releases lots of harmful secretions that can be a leading cause of most health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, and joint pain.
If you notice that your dog is getting a little chunky, being a responsible dog owner, it’s time to start looking for ways to help him lose weight. The following ideas can help you out.
How Do You Know If Your Dog is Overweight?
If you are worried about your dog’s body weight and want to check if your dog is overweight then you can do a simple practice. You need to touch your dog’s chest and feel the dog’s ribs with your hand. If you don’t feel any ribs, then it means that your dog is overweight.
This is an easy and important method to identify obesity in your dog. You can follow this convenient method even at home.
But you should not only rely on this method but also consult a dog breeder in this regard. Different dog breeds have different body weights depending upon their diet, body structure, and body requirements. First find out your dog’s ideal weight, and then go for a breed-specific diet that will help your dog lose weight without harming its health.
How Can I Help My Overweight Dog Lose Weight?
When the dogs eat high-calorie food and don’t exercise enough, this leads to obesity in dogs. Such overweight dogs are not just fat, but they also become stressed and lazy as they feel uncomfortable and cannot normally perform their daily life activities. You can help your overweight dog lose weight by creating a weight-reduction plan. That includes diet and some behavioral and lifestyle changes. These lifestyle changes could really help them fight obesity.
Check out the following ways to help your overweight dog lose weight:
Get Professional Help for Your Overweight Dog
If you are concerned about your dog’s weight, you should consult your vet before making any decisions. Your vet will evaluate the situation and advise you on how best to tackle this problem. The vet will give you advices about your dog’s diet, exercise, and activities specific to the its breed. After that, you can take the following other tips to help your overweight dog lose weight.
Focus on Proteins and Cut Back on Carbs
What you can do to help your overweight dog lose weight is to feed it a healthy diet. The first step is to cut short on the non-essential components of the diet. Try to focus on proteins and reduce the carbohydrates in the food. If you are habitual in giving your dog chewy treats, you have to stop immediately. The sweet chewy treats have a lot of carbohydrates in them that directly add to the body fat.
Add Fiber to Your Dog’s Food
If your dog could not resist and you could not say no to his pitiful eyes, you can give him a fibrous diet. The fiber in his diet would help satisfy his hunger by creating a feeling of fullness in him, which will not add to his body weight.
Give a Proper Diet
Reducing the dog’s diet will not reduce their weight; instead, it will lead to malnutrition. To help your overweight dog lose weight, you need to customize its diet. Give a proper diet that directly fulfills the body’s basic nutritional requirements. For your fat dog, select the dog food brand specifically prescribed for your dog, depending upon its breed and body weight.
Make Exercise Fun
For your overweight dog, exercise is vitally important. Exercise is a great way to eliminate the extra calories and fat your pup may be carrying. Don’t force your dog to exercise. Make exercise fun. Involve them in playful activities that help them lose weight and make them happy. Take them on walks with you but try to avoid difficult exercises; otherwise, they will not cooperate with you and feel exercise is a burden.
Measure the Food
When your vet has prescribed a specific diet plan for your overweight dog, the first thing you need to do is measure the food portion and keep it consistent. You can use a scoop that measures the exact amount of food as prescribed by the vet for that purpose. This will help you keep a constant portion of food throughout the weight loss journey.
Keep measuring the dog’s Weight
When you put your dog on a diet, it would be best to keep measuring the dog’s weight. This will help you understand if there is an underlying health issue with the dog hindering weight loss despite following a strict diet. Try to measure the dog’s weight weekly and notice if there is any unusual change in the dog’s weight.
Discourage the Begging Behavior
Some dogs grab their owner’s attention by begging for food even if they are not hungry. It would help if you discouraged this begging behavior. Try to guess if they are really hungry by keeping track of their mealtime. If you still fail to stop your dog from begging, go for fiber-rich treats that create a feeling of fullness without adding to their body fat.
Slow and Steady Trims the Waistline
When starting the weight loss journey of your dog, don’t be hasty; instead, be patient and consistent. Do not replace the old diet completely when starting a new diet for your dog. Instead, introduce it in portions in combination with the old diet. It would be best if you. Take help from your vet. Firstly, follow a weekly diet plan that involves the following combination of old and new food:
|Day 1- 2||75% old food||25% new food|
|Day 3 – 4||50% old food||50%new food|
|Day 5 – 6||25% old food||75% new food|
|Day 7||–||100% new food|
Maintain the Weight
It has been observed that 50 percent of dogs regain their weight after successful weight loss. This is because they return to their old diet immediately after weight loss. So, to maintain a healthy weight, you have to stick to the new diet and remain consistent throughout. When your dog reaches the desired weight, you should consult your vet to have a new diet that helps maintain this healthy weight.
How to Reduce Dog Weight?
Firstly, you should consult your vet to help your overweight dog lose weight. Meanwhile, you can follow the following tips:
- Focus on proteins and cut back on carbs
- Add fiber to your dog’s food
- Give a proper diet
- Making Exercise Fun
- Measure the food
- Keep measuring the dog’s weight
- Discourage the begging behavior
- Slow and steady trims the waistline
- Maintain the weight
How Long Does It Take For A Dog To Lose Weight?
Ideally, it takes six to months to lose your dog. But if you notice any hindrance in the weight loss, you should see the vet and report the problem.
What to Do With An Overweight Dog?
If you notice a usual behavior in your dog that relates to being overweight, you should take your dog to the vet as obesity in dogs can lead to other diseases like heart diseases, diabetes, and joint pain.