Obesity is on the rise nowadays. Not just among humans but dogs are also picking up this trend. Dogs are estimated to be fatter that they have ever been.
Almost 35 million dogs in the U.S. are considered overweight. And that’s almost half the population!
Why do you want to avoid this?
Just as obesity may be a life-threatening condition in man, the same applies to dogs. Research has proven that obesity comes with a variety of health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, immune dysfunction, and tumors. Other research studies show that dogs with ideal weight can live around two more years than their overweight counterparts.
In case you have an overweight dog…
This is the part where it actually gets easier than you might think. You see, weight loss is dependent on a simple principle really. Burning fewer calories than you consume. Period. The same is still true about dogs. The more your dog burns more calories than they consume, the more weight they shave off. Yet there are so many overweight dogs.
The main objective you want to achieve is to get your dog to eat less and exercise more. So here is the big plan:
- First of all, find out your dog`s ideal weight. There isn’t a standard ideal weight for all dogs. Talk to a vet about this. They can also screen your dog for any conditions that may contribute to obesity, such as diabetes and hypothyroidism.
- Do your calculations. Once you identify the ideal weight of your dog, it is possible to calculate the number of calories you can feed your pet daily. This makes it possible to achieve a steady loss of weight. Couple this with a high activity level and the results will come even faster.
- Be careful how you feed your dog. The worst feeding habit which is also very common these days is free choice feeding. This basically means that food is available for your pet at all times of the day so the dog eats food whenever it wants. This method of feeding is very unnatural in animals. Can you imagine if all predators in the jungle had food 24/7? They`d probably be very lazy, right? This is not any different when it comes to dogs. What`s more, a dog will even eat when it is bored, just like us humans. The recommended number of meals per day is anywhere between two to four meals.
- Quantity also matters. Perhaps you just approximate the amount of food you give your dog. This is actually wrong. Never guess the measure. Use a measuring cup, not just a tea coffee cup or a scoop. This is where the second step comes into use. Feed your dog an appropriate measure of food according to the calculations you had done.
Don’t underfeed your dog too. It is a fact that a lot of times, weight loss can be achieved by feeding your dog less of his normal measure. However, this needs to be done in really small measures otherwise you may end up with a pet that is constantly hungry and feels less satisfied. Besides, pets can sometimes gain weight because of the difficulty with staying on track in the face of constant begging for food.
Thinking of getting a weight loss plan for your beloved furry friend? Contact a veterinary clinic in Briarcliff Manor, New York for assistance and keep your best friend healthy!