It’s a new year so a lot of us are thinking what we can do going ahead in the next year to better ourselves, and of course a big resolution lots of people make is to lose weight. But it’s also important to consider whether your dog is overweight and may need to go on a diet themselves. We’ve put together this guide to help you identify whether your dog is overweight and offer dog diet tips to help bring them down to a healthy weight without harming them.
Is Your Dog Overweight?
Feel around the spine and ribs of your dog. You should be able to feel both of these with a thin layer of fat separating their skin from their bones. Unfortunately if you can’t feel the rib cage, you may have an overweight dog. At this point you should visit your vet and ask for a second opinion and what course of action may need to be taken.
It may be a good idea to weight your dog too. To do so at home try standing on a scale, noting your own weight and then weighing yourself again but this time holding your dog. The difference it weight will tell you the weight of the dog. However if your dog is too heavy to do this you can always visit a vet or local pet store who should have weighing equipment for dogs.
Dog Diet Tips to Help Them Shift the Weight
Once you’ve confirmed with a vet that your dog is overweight, there are lots of things you can do to help them lose weight. Always listen to your vet and take their advice as every dog is different.
- Make sure they’re getting the right portions of food each day. Take a look at the back of the packaging on the food that you’re feeding them. It should feature a feeding guide which gives a rough estimate of how much food you should be feeding them daily. It’s probably best to talk with your vet about how much they should be fed too.
- Don’t completely cut out treats, as this may come as shock to your dog and upset them. Instead only feed them in moderation. Decide on what you’re going to treat them with and for how often and stick to it.
- If your dog whines and begs a lot for more food, try not to give in. Your dog will do so only because they know it will result in more food for them. Remember that you’re doing this for their benefit and focus on your goals.
- If the above measures don’t seem to be working, try putting them on a food with less calories. Foods such as Dr. Green Lite Dog Food are specially formulated to have less calories but all the same goodness and nutrients that your dog needs to live a happy life.
- Get them exercising, and take them out for regular walks. You may find because of your busy life that you’ve had less time to take your dogs for walks and play with them. Always make sure that you walk your dog at least once a day to help keep them healthy, happy and active. You may also find these walks help shape a stronger bond with your dog over time. However, if you don’t have time you can always hire a dig walker or a local teenager who wants some extra pocket money. Dog day care centres are another great alternative if you’re busy at work, and they’ll keep them active. If your dog is older and has joint problems, it may be worth trying swimming instead, as it’s less stressful on their joints.