One of the first steps when putting your dog on a diet is changing its food! Dogs are just like us, and to lose weight, they need to eat less and eat better (and exercise!). The first thing you will want to do is determine what weight your dog should be, then on your dog food, check that weight and make sure you aren't over or underfeeding them.
This often happens where we don't match the proper dog food measurements and can easily over or under-feed our pets. If you are feeding them the appropriate amount, you can switch dog food. They sell weight management dog foods at your local pet store - or you can go the homemade route. Be sure to do your research so that you provide the proper nutrients.
And lastly, when it comes to food, everyone's favorite - treats. Sadly, you may need to cut back on the amount and size of treats your dog is getting. Make the switch to smaller, low-fat treats, and you will see a difference! (Your dog will still love those small treats just as much, we promise!)
Another huge aspect of dog obesity is dog fitness. To help your dog lose weight, try incorporating more movement into its everyday life. You can start by simply adding more and longer walks to your routine. You can also begin to do dog exercises. Yes, dog exercises! They exist.
There are plenty of fun ways to implement exercises to build muscle and help health problems with some dog exercises. We have articles listed on dog exercise, but for the sake of helping you right now, we'll share our favorites!
Dogs need to move like humans do, so try doing fun exercises throughout your house, which can be considered exercise. You can run up and down your stairs. You can create an agility "course" in your living room and have your dog jump over cushions and walk under tables.
There are plenty of creative and fun ways to include canine fitness into your everyday life at home. And by upping your dog's movement and decreasing their food intake - you will see weight loss!
If you have tried the above and still aren't seeing results after 6 months, consult your vet. Many dogs, especially older and senior dogs, will struggle more with their weight. There may be alternative measures to help them lose weight. Your vet will have the best idea and can cater a specific plan to help with your dog's health problem.
Dog obesity is a serious health issue, and you will want to keep your dog at a healthy weight to help them live a long and happy life! There is no shame if your dog needs extra help with its health issues. You are being a great owner by doing everything you can.
Helping your dog lose weight requires work and attention and a bit of a lifestyle change on your end. Make sure you are ready and healthy enough to add daily walks into your life and provide different food options for your dog. Implementing a new healthy lifestyle in both of your lives will make a huge difference, and you and your dog will be happy and healthy!
Remember, these changes will happen slowly. You'll want to stay patient and keep track so you can see your success and stick to it. We encourage everyone to also read up on the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention to learn more about dog obesity and find even more resources on this topic!