Obesity in dogs is one of the most common health concerns that pet owners and veterinarians deal with. As cute as they are when they're chubby, an overweight pooch is more likely to suffer from disabling medical conditions such as diabetes, lung and heart diseases, and cancerous tumorsleading to a visit to an affordable animal hospital.
Help your dog shed off some pounds or maintain their healthy weight through these different feeding and training methods:
Count Their Calories
The amount of calories your pet needs each day depends on multiple factors such as their weight, age, and medical condition. Feeding instructions on dog food bags aren't the most reliable and are usually overestimated. So, if you're using that as a guide, you'reprobably overfeeding them. The best way to determine their required calorie count is to have it calculated by your veterinarian.
Excess calories can come from scraps you feed them as well. As hard as it is to resist those puppy dog eyes, try not to give them any more leftover table food. Skipping these small treats will not only help them lose weight but also get them used to a fixed daily meal portion.
More Protein, Less Carbs
Most prescription weight-loss dog food is high in carbohydrates and low in fat and protein. This creates a low-calorie meal that'll only keep them full for a short while and gain plenty of weight. The combination can make them constantly hungry and eat more than necessary throughout the day.
Instead, go for a diet that's high in proteins, low in carbohydrates, and moderate in fat. This will give your pooch all the nutrients they need, keep them energized, and satisfy their appetite. But, be sure to check with your veterinary first before making major changes if your dog has a certain health condition.
Whether if it's a long walk, tug-of-war, or playing fetch, there's an exercise that your pooch loves to do. Introduce more of it to their daily routine to help them lose weight and keep their mind active. Ideally, your dog should have at least 20 minutes of heart-pumping workout twice a day. But,look out for cues that they want to stop and rest. If they get tired easily, they might do better with three 7-minute sessions.
Find Non-Food Rewards
Although a tasty snack is the most common treat for a dog, there are other ways to show them some love. Use a lot of belly rubs, scratches, and verbal praises as a reward instead of food. A quick play session with their favorite toy is also a great way of telling them they're a good pooch.
Keeping your furry friend in shape will ensure that they live a long, healthy, and happy life. Thankfully, there are plenty of veterinary services available at an animal hospital in Jacksonville that can help you create a diet and exercise plan for your dog.