How to Help My Dog Lose Weight
With the beginning of a new year, many people are looking back at the previous year. Where have I grown? Where can I become better? How are my finances or health?
But what about your pet’s health? Many people put on weight over the holidays, but sometimes our pets also join us in the holiday binge. If you’ve noticed your dog looking a little heavy, you may have come here asking yourself the question, “how to help my dog lose weight?”
If this describes you, you’ve come to the right place. Today we give you tips to help you maintain your dog at a healthy weight.
How to Help My Dog Lose Weight: Tips for Success
Below we list a few tips on how to help your dog lose weight. You don’t have to make drastic changes to your dog’s diet or exercise, and abrupt changes might not even be recommended. But with a few lifestyle changes, your dog can be in better shape in no time.
Tip 1: Note What You Want to Change
Just like anything you want to change, it’s important to take note of the things you don’t like. It gives you an aim. If you want to lose weight yourself, you should be taking note of how much weight you’d like to lose, or what you want your body mass index to be. The same is true for your pet.
If you dog is ten pounds over their ideal body weight, that might be the best starting point. By taking note of what the problem is, you’re able to find the goal. If the goal is to lose ten pounds, your next step is to get a plan together on how to achieve that.
Tip 2: Take Note of Everything Your Dog Consumes
Just like with people, weight management comes down to calories in and calories out. You have to measure every bit of food your dog consumes to be sure you’re properly managing their diet.
People usually measure calories, but for your dog, it might be a better choice to measure the weight of food you give them. Get yourself a small scale and start taking note of how much food they get each day. Then, you can start reserving some food. Take away just a small amount and see how your dog responds. A suggested amount would be about 5% reduction in overall food.
Again, you don’t want to make any drastic changes that can affect your dog’s health in other ways. A small reduction is enough to make a change. But a great idea is also measuring your dog before and after so you know the exact impact of what you’re doing.
Tip 3: Feed Your Dog a Proper Balance
When looking at your dog’s diet, it’s also important to get the balance right. Naturally, dogs need more protein. Many dog foods have carbohydrates because these are cheap fillers, but a dog doesn’t need carbs at all. They thrive off proteins and fats.
Of course, a healthy balance should be struck as well. The proper diet for a dog should be high in protein, low in carbohydrates, and moderate in fat.
You should also avoid fiber in your dog’s diet as your dog cannot digest it. Grain is a common source of fiber, so a grain free dog food might be the best bet.
Tip 4: Make Sure You Give Proper Treats
Treats are a great training resource, however if you give a lot of reinforcement to your dog they can be filling up on those calories. If you’re trying to cut your dog’s weight, their training treats might be a good place to look.
If you already give your dog somewhat large treats, you can consider breaking them in half. Otherwise you can consider buying smaller treats. The great thing about dogs is that they only care that they are getting a treat, not the size of the treat.
If you want to go the natural route, give cooked chicken breast to your dog as a treat. Cut the breast into small pieces and keep some on you for whenever your dog does something praiseworthy.
Tip 5: Get Outside
While diet is a crucial part of your dog’s health, so is exercise. Proper exercise helps keep your dog’s weight in check. It also provides much needed stimulation. Even moderate daily exercise has been shown to boost immune function, improve heart health and even reduce problem behaviors.
A daily walk for as little as twenty minutes can be a great way to help your pet burn the fat. And even in the winter, a game of fetch or tug of war indoors makes a great energy release.
So, there you have it. It’s advice you’ve probably heard before, but diet and exercise are the only things that will help anyone lose weight. Your dog’s weight is no different.
Hopefully this helped you answer the question, “how to help my dog lose weight.” With a plan in place a few of our tips, your dog can be back to their ideal size in no time!