When it comes to our pets, it’s so easy to ‘kill them with kindness.’ Some leftovers here, a tasty treat there- when there’s a cute eager face that always wants a bite taste of whatever you happen to be eating, it’s difficult to resist! The problem is, just like humans dogs can become overweight. And much like us, they can suffer from health problems as a result. Diabetes, joint problems, even difficulty breathing can result when your pooch is carrying too much weight on his frame. Of course, we don’t ever do any of this with the intention of harming our dogs- quite the opposite. We just want them to be happy enjoy their treats! But if your dog is carrying excess weight, it’s so important to get it in check. Here are a few ways you can go about it.
Do More Exercise
If your dog is overweight, chances are they’re not doing enough exercise. Different breeds and even personalities will require more exercise than others, so work out exactly how much your dogs needs each day. Some dogs will get overweight, others might become destructive due to pent up energy. As well as walks, you could also take your dog swimming which is extremely good exercise and will really tire them out. If you take up a sport like surfing or paddle boarding, it’s something you can enjoy together. You could look into a dog life jacket for paddle boarding to ensure your dog’s safety at all times. Not all breeds are great swimmers so be careful and keep an eye on them at all times.
Choose Low Fat Dog Food and Treats
Low-fat dog food is relatively easy to find in most supermarkets these days, so if your pooch is looking a little plump then switching to this should be easy enough. At the very least, avoid food targeted for ‘working dogs’ since this will be higher in calories. You can also quite easily make your own low-fat dog treats. Common kitchen ingredients such as oats, yogurt, grated carrots and other fruits and veggies can be made into a dough or batter and baked. Always be sure to check ingredients are safe to give to your dog, as surprisingly grapes, raisins, avocados and other things that are healthy for humans are poisonous to canines.
Weigh Out Portions
‘Free feeding’ can be a hassle-free way to feed many dogs. You put down a big bowl of dog food and just top it up when it runs out. Most dogs will eat until they’re full and never get overweight. However, there are some that will overeat. Certain breeds are prone to this, or if you have a rescue dog that was ever starved in their past, they might see every meal as potentially their last and eat far too much. If this is the case, you’ll need to put down bowls of food once or twice a day, weighing out the amount that they need. The packet will usually give an indicator on how much to feed based on your dog’s size, or you could consult your vet. To make it easier and prevent you from having to weigh out food every day, you could portion a month’s worth into bags or containers and simply grab one each morning to pour in their bowl.