Have you noticed your pet has put on a couple extra pounds recently? Or maybe they’ve always been a little chunky! Don’t worry he or she is not the only one. About 45% of all dogs are overweight in the U.S.; that’s approximately 35 million! Keeping your dog fit and healthy will allow them to live longer, healthier lives.
The first step in helping your dog is determining if they are overweight. Only 17% of owners agree when they are told their dog is overweight. We understand, it can be hard to hear that your beloved pet needs to drop some pounds and they are not just “big-boned”. Helping your pet maintain their ideal body weight will lessen their chance of suffering from arthritis, high blood pressure, cancerous tumors and many other illnesses. If you think you pup is overweight take them into the vet and make sure there are no underlying issues that are causing the weight gain. Once you’ve established your pet is healthy other than their weight you can look into different weight loss options.
Start with how and what you are feeding your pet. It’s common for people to put lots of food out and let their pet free feed. This can be an issue for the obvious reason that your pet can eat as much as they want and it’s hard to keep track of how much they are eating. Your dog doesn’t need to eat as much as you think they do. Cut back on portion sizes and use a measuring cup to get precise. It’s also a good idea to take a look at your kibble as many of them are full of fillers that don’t give your dog any nutrition. Upgrading to a high-quality kibble can give your dog the nutrition they need without all the extra calories.
You may have to cut back on all those treats too! Keep this in mind: food is not love! Break up treats into smaller pieces an only give them to your dog when they really earn them. Try to avoid giving treats just because they are so cute- we know it’s hard! It’s important to let us, your walker at Canine Companion LA, if you are trying to stay away from treats!
One of the best and most obvious weight loss solutions is exercise. Your dog should have at least 15 minutes of strenuous activity twice a day. This of course can vary depending on your dog’s age and health. There is so much you can do to get your dog active. Of course, Canine Companion LA is here for you and your pup! We are here to help with your dog’s weight loss journey. Schedule more walks for your pup or get them scheduled for some hikes!
Remember weight loss takes time and won’t happen overnight. Be consistent in your efforts and patient with your dog!