Is your dog suffering from excess weight? It’s likely because a recent study has revealed that around 60% of pets are overweight and even obese. This is highly troubling because it can lead to many severe health issues that can reduce your dog’s quality of life and even shorten his lifespan. Luckily, even if your dog is suffering from excess weight, you can help him quickly with a few diet and lifestyle changes.
Set Realistic Goals with a Vet
The only authority on your pet’s health is a certified veterinarian. While it can be valuable to gather information online, you should always consult with a vet to make sure you’re helping and not causing harm. When it comes to diet, make sure to buy food that has been approved by certified veterinarians. Insist on buying foods that include all the nutrients your dog needs. This is becoming increasingly easy because responsible pet food makers, like Spot & Tango, NomNomNow and The Farmer’s Dog include only veterinarian-approved recipes and fresh ingredients in their foods. Conveniently, they’ll send the food directly to your door.
The first thing you need to understand about your dog’s excess weight is that the best way to help is to remain consistent. Whether it’s changing your dog’s diet or lifestyle, you’ll need to commit to the plan to ensure you aren’t causing unnecessary health problems. As humans, going up and down in weight is unhealthy. Aim for incremental, steady changes by committing yourself to a planned feeding and activity schedule.
Start with Lifestyle Changes
With dogs, weight issues are about more than just unhealthy portioning. Like humans, your dog’s weight is very dependent upon his breed, size, and level of activity. Increase his activity level moderately and in small increments, aiming to reduce weight in the spans of months and up to a year. Consider increasing the length of your walks by 15-25% and try and add a short play session every day. Be careful not to overwork your dog, especially in the beginning stages. Ensure that fun remains a factor in your dog’s increased activity.
Be Responsible About Your Dog’s Diet
If weight loss is the goal, you generally want food that’s high in proteins and lower in fats and proteins. Don’t attempt any human diets or food preferences, such as exclusionary diets (especially not ketogenic or vegan/vegetarian diets), because it can be extremely dangerous for dogs of any age and any breed. Protein is especially important when increasing your dog’s activity level, but he’ll also need fat and carbohydrates as energy sources to support his body. Remember, dogs need a balanced diet and certain minerals and vitamins to stay healthy, as detailed by AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) standards. Only buy dog food that meets these requirements to ensure your best friend’s health and longevity. For a list of AAFCO-approved pet food makers, please visit our best pet food rankings.
Important to Remember
Before you start your dog on a weight loss program, make sure you aren’t endangering his or her health in any way. This means insisting on veterinarian-approved dog foods and introducing lifestyle changes in a slow, incremental manner. Never overwork your dog to exhaustion and always guarantee that he has access to fresh water. If you want to start responsibly, consider switching to a veterinarian-approved pet food delivery service. Today, you can get freshly-made dog food rich in essential minerals and vitamins delivered straight to your door for free.