A crucial aspect of being a dog owner is ensuring that your dog is in shape. That’s why even if overweight dogs look adorable, the truth is they can be at risk for health issues.
Do note that there are particular breeds that are at higher risk even by the slightest weight gain, so it’s crucial to maintain your dog’s fitness. Also, ensure that your dog doesn’t have underlying metabolic or health conditionslike hypothyroidism, which makes them overweight.
Thankfully, there are some healthy ways to help your overweight dog get in shape. You can get tips and advice at Barkspot or you can keep the following in mind:
1. Proper Diet
Before you start any diet plan for your dog, let your vet know to ensure proper nutrition for your dog.
Dogs that eat too many treats, food, and table scraps gain weight easily, particularly if they’re not active. A great solution to kickstart the weight loss of your dog is to feed them with normal food in the morning but replacing the second meal with low sodium food, a little amount of kibble, and a multivitamin during nighttime.
2. Try Weight Loss Supplements
Dogs don’t require weight loss supplements. However, as they start losing weight, you might like to try some additives that make their weight loss journey much easier. For instance, chondroitin and glucosamine supplements could make exercise less challenging for geriatric or overweight dogs. Such nutrients are typically combined in joint supplements that can enhance overall mobility.
A supplement that can boost your dog’s fat loss is L-carnitine. Usually found in poultry, red meat, and fish, L-carnitine helps burn more fat, maintain normal metabolism, and build more muscles.
3. Pay Attention To Dog Food Labels
There are times that you may not focus on the ingredients when purchasing dog food products. However, it’s essential to be attentive to how and what your dog eats since it’lldirectly affect their health.
Avoid dog foods that use generic animal fat as one of the ingredients. Such fats are derived from unidentified sources that can be unhealthy for your dog. Instead, choose better quality options, including the ones with ingredients such as sunflower oil, canola oil, salmon oil, or fish oil.
4. Look For Non-Food Rewards
All dogs love tasty snacks. However, there are some ways to give your dogs some love. Some of these are by incorporating belly rubs, lots of verbal praise, and head scratches. Also, never underestimate a quick play session since most working dogs love playtime, especially with their favorite toy.
In times when you require food treats, find low-calorie or low-carb options. Raw vegetables can also be a good option for dog treats as they add fiber to your dog’s diet. You can also try meat-based treats. Just make sure to take note or control the number of dog treats you give to your dogs.
5. Increase Your Dog’s Exercise Safely
Although proper nutrition is important, you have to take note that no weight loss plan is complete without exercise. Depending on your dog’s breed and overall health, the amount of exercise your dog need may vary.
The most important and obvious activity for your dog is walking. Regular walks don’t only exercise your dog’s body, but they also provide mental stimulation and an all-important opportunity to sniff.
While the minimum recommended exercise should be done twice a day for at least 20 minutes, some dogs may need more. For most breeds, an hour of exercise daily is a good thing. However, if your dog is overweight, increase the amount of exercise they’re currently doing and try to lengthen your dog’s exercise activities.
If you don’t know what type of activities are suited for your overweight dog, ask your vet about the right onesbased on your dog’s age, current physical condition, gender, and breed. Slowly introduce some new activities to prevent any possible injuries. Also, try to keep the weather conditions in mind when doing outdoor activities since extreme hot weather may result in burnt paw pads or heat stroke.
Weight loss in dogs doesn’t happen in a short time. Just like humans, overweight dogs require more time to lose extra pounds. The good news is that getting your overweight dog into shape isn’t difficult. All you have to do is follow the above tips, as well as build good diet habits and a healthy routine.
Some dogs may suffer from obesity because of genetic factors. If this is the case, dieting and exercising alone can’t help them to get in shape. The best solution for this is to seek help from a veterinarian.