How to Help a Dog Lose Weight
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Just as in humans, obesity in dogs is becoming a common problem. It is believed that about 40% of dogs in Europe are overweight. The causes are similar to those that cause obesity in humans : too much food, too many treats and not enough exercise.
A quarter of overweight dogs have severe joint problems. Arthrosis hinders some simple daily tasks such as walking, sitting and lying down. In addition excess fat puts pressure on the lungs and diaphragm, making breathing more difficult. To all disorders caused by excess weight: such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, the overweight dog experiences a decrease in their quality of life. They cannot move so well, play or fully enjoy their life.
In this Animal Wised article we will give you some tips to discover how to help a dog lose weight. Keep reading!
Assess the situation
To find out if your dog is overweight, an easy test is to touch their ribs. Normally their ribs should not be visible but you should be able to feel them easily when you touch them. If you do not, it is likely that your dog is overweight.
Another option is to weigh them and compare their weight with the average weight of the breed. An excess of 10% to 20% is considered overweight, beyond obesity. Of course, there is no ideal dog weight. This will vary from breed to breed.
Ideally, visit your veterinarian to establish an ideal dog weight for your pet and thus have a goal to achieve in the mind. In addition your veterinarian will be able to determine if any cause like a hypothyroidism probe has caused the excess weight.
After evaluating the situation and having determined the goal, it is fundamental that the whole family make the decision to put the dog on a diet and stick to it. Team work is vital. Otherwise efforts will be void. If one continues giving the dog treats while the others resist their pleading eyes, it will not work.
To help your dog lose weight, everyone must put on their part, from the smallest to the largest!
Feeding an overweight dog
Food is logically one of the first parameters that we must modify. With the help of your veterinarian, determine the amount of food the dog needs each day. As well as the best dog food for weight loss.
If you decide to change their feed, do it gradually to avoid causing your dog digestion problems. Start by mixing a small amount of the new with the old and gradually increase the proportion of the new feed.
Food: a few rules
An adult dog only needs one or two meals a day. Avoid leaving the feed available all day, it is important to give their meals at fixed times and in a certain place.
Also the dog should be alone during mealtimes. If you have other pets, avoid giving them their food in the same place or at the same time. The presence of other animals causes your dog to be paranoid that they will steal their food. And ultimately, they will eat faster. Preventing our dog from eating quickly is useful for better digestion and avoiding stress.
The role of food in education
We should not always give our dog treats. To educate our dogs we tend to use treats as rewards. But these are usually used in excess and are a key participant in your dog's obesity or excess weight. There are other ways to reward our dog: caressing them or letting them play with their favorite toy are healthy choices.
Avoid giving them leftover food from the dining table. A dog should not order food while eating, it is bad for their education and their health.
For their physical and mental health, your dog needs to exercise every day. To stimulate them, you can vary their games and activities. Doing physical exercise is a necessity, although some races require less exercise than others. However, in general physical exercise is indispensable for their good health and your well-being.
Exercise should be done progressively to avoid muscle problems. If your dog is sedentary and does not usually play sports, accustom them slowly. If you have a puppy do not take long them for long walks until they are a year old, to avoid joint problems.
There are different types of exercises for obese dogs. Throwing a ball or a stick, canine sports like agility, or you can go for walks, bike rides or go jogging.
There are many ways to get your dog to exercise and go from mild exercise to more intense sport. Physical activity with your dog will also reinforce your bond
No matter how cute your cute dog is when they ask for food, you have to resist, and it will not always be easy.
If you do not have treats at home you will find it less difficult, when you prepare the food for yourself or your family, do not let your dog be around you. Close the doors if necessary. Of course, your dog may not like the diet change and they may try steal or harass you with endearing faces to give you food.
Overweight dogs are usually due to the owner living a sedentary life. This makes the dog have an increasingly sedentary way of life. Fortunately, after ruling out possible health problems with your veterinarian, restoring a good quality of life will allow your dog to reach their ideal weight and live a long and healthy life.
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