It’s an epidemic! – A significant number of dogs in the U.S. are overweight and today’s pups are the heaviest they’ve ever been.
Yes, we all know how completely adorable and comical chubby dogs are. No matter how charming they may be, overweight dogs are unhealthy and have shorter life spans, which is not so cute. In fact, studies estimate that roughly 45% of dogs in the states are obese. Holy cow! (No pun intended.) Although you may think that overfeeding your dog or mild exercise is harmless, the truth is it actually has a detrimental impact on your dog. Obesity for dogs and humans alike can be life-threatening and can lead to a wide array of diseases.
It is imperative to ensure that your dog maintains his ideal body weight. Doing this alone could add an additional two years to your dog’s life. Also, it’s essential for dog owners to actually acknowledge when their dog is obese. Most owners with overweight pets assume their dog is just thick, or a tiny bit above average. Some will argue that their dog doesn’t eat more than it should. This could be true with the eating habits, but the problem could be that your dog isn’t burning enough calories for the amount of food he intakes. To effectively alter your dog’s weight, you should understand the process behind doggy diets.
Understand how to feed your dog.
Like many humans, dogs will eat when they’re bored. To control this, don’t leave a bowl of food out for them all day so that they are free to indulge whenever they so wish. Mammals in general are used to having an eating schedule or routine, rather than feasting constantly. Instead, try implementing two to four smaller portions of food a day.
Don’t guess when it comes to food.
In order to help expedite the process of helping your dog lose weight, properly measure his food and actually use an 8 ounce measuring cup as opposed to a standard cup or a scoop for dog food. Treats are great for positive reinforcement and to show your dog he is appreciated, but this should be kept to a minimum. This may seem obvious, but dog sizes vary greatly. Make sure your dog is receiving the appropriate amount of food for his body size.
Pick the right food.
There are multiple dog food brands available that are marketing “diet” plans or “reduced-calorie” foods. Although some of these foods may be OK, it is best to stay away. Although they are meant to keep your dog full, they often lack flavor and can end up leaving dogs hungrier. Instead, opt for quality dog food brands that contain high protein, low fat, and low calories. Restricting your dog’s food intake won’t necessarily lead to weight loss. What is important is what’s inside of the food! Canned food is a great option to add to your dog’s diet because of it’s low carb content and high protein.
Make sure your dog is getting an ample amount of exercise.
A little less than half of the American population (made up of adults) does not participate in any sort of exercise or recreational physical activity. Exercising with your dog can be beneficial and motivational for both of you. Exercise alongside your dog to enjoy benefits of weight loss, lower cholesterol levels, a lesser chance of heart disease, and more. Plus, nothing would make your dog happier than running around outside with his favorite human!
The best way to ensure that your dog lives a full life is to monitor his eating and exercise routine frequently. As his weight progresses and alters, your diet plan for him should too. Consider a healthy homemade dog food. Recording any changes in weight, accommodating his food needs, and making sure your dog gets enough exercise will guarantee a happy and healthy pup.