Dog obesity is a growing concern and has become a significant threat to the canine population. It can lead to a decrease in lifespan and morbid health conditions such as osteoarthritis, kidney diseases, types of cancer, and diabetes. In North America, 55.8% of dogs are obese or overweight, which is the primary preventable disease experienced by the canine. The initial step of your dog’s weight loss journey is recognizing and accepting its current health condition. After which, owners can take a few tests at home, starting with their rib inspection.
A dog without any underlying/excessive fat deposits over their rib bones and a well-tucked abdomen can mean that they are of the ideal weight. Secondly, if the owner can observe a further dip behind the dog’s rib region while standing behind their dog, it confirms the former. From lagging, being inactive to having trouble breathing, subtle changes in overall behavior can also be significant indicators for overweight dogs.
A dog’s health and well-being are the owner’s responsibility, and being a guardian, owners need to ensure that their pets are functioning on their best physical/mental self. It includes getting a routine health profile, weight checkup, observing any underlying problems/conditions of obesity such as sluggishness, skin infection, loss of fur, etc. Providing annual medicine for fleas in dogs is a good practice as it protects the feline from internal/external infestation. Going for yearly vaccinations and checkups with the veterinarian can help detect any health disease and allow treatment to begin before the condition worsens. These small practices can help improve your dog’s quality of life and increase life expectancy.
The latest survey concludes that more than 50% of dogs face obesity, which is responsible for an array of other health problems at later stages of a dog’s life. Another study states that slimmer dogs have a chance of living 15% more than obese or overweight. Thus, it is crucial to make regular visits to a trusted veterinarian to check on the dog’s health. From calculating calories to having an exercise regime, here are some practices to help a dog through their weight loss plan:
After the veterinarian’s examination and assessment to determine the dog’s ideal weight, owners can begin their pet’s weight-loss journey by feeding it the correct number of calories per meal. According to Pet Obesity Prevention, a dog should reduce at least 3-5% of its body weight in a month.
Owners can achieve this by figuring out the right amount of calories to feed daily and per meal. Instead of decreasing the portion size of their current diet, owners can also replace everyday dog food with a low-calorie formula. Instead of simply filling the bowl, owners may use a measuring cup to offer the right portion size.
Buffet system, which involves a dog eating disproportionately large amounts of food throughout the day, can harm the canine with excess weight gain over time. Owners can target their pet’s daily calorie intake by selecting a low-calorie, nutritious diet that will prevent them from feeding too much or little and providing only the required amount of calories in a day.
Alter the Diet:
Offering your dog a wholesome and nutritious diet is of utmost importance. Cutting excess carbs to focus on high proteins and fiber can benefit the dog shedding their extra pounds and maintaining a healthy life. Owners need to carefully examine the ingredient list of their pet’s current food brand and find a substitute kibble with low carb and high protein formulas.
While a low-carb diet is essential for the dog, it’s recommended that owners take the initial step of first consulting with a trusted veterinarian. Being a professional, a vet can better guide the right products, help create a diet chart, and suggest changing the dog’s current diet. It will make the process of shifting to a new diet much more seamless and efficient.
Regular Exercise/Physical Activity:
Exercises such as walking, running, hiking, playing fetch can help shed the excess pounds more quickly. Physical activities can be enjoyed indoors, from inventive food puzzles, interactive toys with treats, remote-controlled toys to help them stay mentally and physically active. If owners wish to make a suitable workout regime for their pet, it’ll be based on the dog’s breed, size, age, life stage, etc.
During changing seasons, owners can maintain a brisk walking routine with their dogs for 30 minutes each day to improve their bodily functions and help them maintain a healthy weight all year round. The key to shedding excess weight is to follow any diet chart, body profile, exercise routine, or indoor activities regularly until one sees effective results. In the case of physical activity, it is again essential to consult the vet before dog owners plan a strenuous exercise regime.
In conclusion, owners should use these weight loss methods, including rigorous workout routines, change in diet, portioned meals, etc., and ensure that they make consistent efforts until they achieve their dog’s ideal weight. Not only are these practices essential for the weight loss journey, but they also guarantee that your pet reaches a better quality of life, meets its fitness goals, maintains a healthy weight, and lives a long life with a healthy lifestyle.
Image credits: Unsplash,
Image credits: Unsplash
Image credits: Unsplash
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