How to Help Your Obese Dog Lose Weight

Help Your Obese Dog Lose Weight

Giving too much affection to your dog can sometimes lead to overfeeding. It’s indeed challenging to resist those puppy eyes begging for food. But bear in mind that once you yield, you become guilty of helping your canine pal in becoming obese. This article will tell you all you need to know to help your obese dog lose weight.

If you have an obese dog, you should educate yourself on the proper measures you should take to get and keep your pet in shape. This way, you can be with your pup longer, and enable him to live a healthier and happier life.

How to Help Your Obese Dog Lose Weight

Causes and Health Risks

Generally, obesity in dogs comes from eating more than the right amount of food and not getting enough exercise. However, some canine breeds are more prone to obesity such as Basset Hounds, Labrador Retrievers, and dachshunds. Pups that are overweight are at an increased risk for:

  • Bone or joint problems
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Arthritis
  • Allergies
  • Diabetes
  • Heart problems
  • Cancer
  • Heat stroke or heat exhaustion

Sometimes, gaining excess weight may be due to a medical condition. Before you try to help your obese dog lose weight, you should take him to the vet for examination to rule out any medical issues.

How to Determine If Your Dog Is Obese

Just because your pup looks chubby doesn’t mean he’s overweight. To recognize whether your dog falls outside of the healthy weight parameters, measure him using a hands-on approach.

  • For most canine breeds, a healthy dog doesn’t have visible ribs, but you should be able to feel them.
  • Your pet should have a definite tummy tuck starting behind his last ribs then going up his hind legs.

Look at body condition score charts found on pet food labels. These show photo examples of an ideal, underweight, and overweight body shapes for dogs. Overweight dogs usually have rolls of fat on the lower back above their tails.

How to Help Your Obese Dog Lose Weight

The first step you have to take is to talk to your vet about your dog’s obesity problem. Your vet will take into account your canine’s breed, size, and level of activity to help you figure out how to lose your dog’s extra weight.

Change the Diet

Your vet may recommend you to transition your pup to a new diet for about a week. Once your dog gets used to the new food, you will have to maintain it. Pay attention when giving food rations as your pup may end up getting fatter rather than lose weight.

The correct way to regulate feedings is to know the caloric needs of your dog first as well as the caloric content of the food you’re giving. Ask your vet about the caloric needs of your dog according to his breed. Read food labels to ensure it meets necessary nutritional criteria before feeding it to your pet.

RELATED:
Pet Obesity: Killing Our Dogs With Kindness

Exercise Your Pet

Don’t let your pet become a couch potato. To effectively lose weight, your dog’s body needs to burn some calories. Here are some simple activities to do with your pup to help him work out:

  • Walk your puppy to the park.
  • Have some 15-minute play sessions.
  • Give your dog fun toys to play with.
  • Enroll your pup in a doggy daycare center or a training class.
  • Let your pet play with other dogs.

Over time, your beloved pet will transition to a healthier weight with the right diet and lifestyle. Once your dog achieves a healthy weight, you must help your dog keep to this healthy routine.

Be a Responsible Pet Owner

You may think that a chunky pup looks cute and happy, but the long-term disadvantages of his extra weight are anything but good. Those extra treats you give that seem harmless can affect your dog’s health and shorten his lifespan. Remember that you’re the one who feeds your dog, which means you are ultimately responsible for how much he eats.

Don’t give treats as a sign of your affection as it will only transform into dangerous fat. Instead, show your love differently by petting him,  playing with him, and taking him on walks. Your dog may crave food, but it’s your attention that he needs the most.

RELATED:
Preventing Obesity in Your Dog

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“How to Help Your Obese Dog Lose Weight”

Guest Author BIO – Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a BSc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.

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