Dog overweight: 4 tips for a successful diet
A dog that is overweight is more prone to various diseases such as cardiovascular problems, diabetes or joint pain. Therefore, it is important for the health of a dog that is too fat to go on a diet. The following tips will make it easier for your dog to lose weight.
It is best to plan the diet for your dog with excess weight together with the veterinarian. He can calculate your dog’s calorie needs and recommend high-quality dog food with reduced calorie content that will help him lose weight in a healthy way. What else you can do, these tips reveal:
- no snacks or treats in between meals.
If possible, dogs with obesity should not snack between meals, as this makes it difficult to control calorie intake and quickly exceeds the amount recommended by the vet. If you give treats, you will need to subtract their calorie content from your dog’s needs and feed correspondingly less at the main meals. If you don’t want to do that much math, it’s best to avoid small treats in between meals altogether. This includes leftovers and small tasting morsels of sausage and cheese.
- weigh food rations for diets
It is very tedious, but for a successful diet it is advisable to really pay close attention to the amount of calories. If a dog needs to lose weight, there is no way around the fact that he takes in less calories than he consumes. Dogs with overweight are mostly severely restricted in their movement, so they cannot do so much exercise at the beginning of the diet. You can increase the calorie consumption when your dog is a little more mobile again and does not suffer from joint pain. For now, however, a reduction in calorie intake is advisable.
The vet will give you precise instructions on the portion sizes of the food, which you should follow exactly. So always weigh the food and keep a kind of food diary for your dog to keep track. If there was a small snack, you can also note it there.
- fight overweight through exercise
As soon as your dog has more fun and ease with exercise again, you should take him for extended walks if possible, play with him a lot and maybe even enroll him in dog sports at a dog school. This has the further advantage that your four-legged friend is less inclined to eat more than is good for him out of boredom.
- do not lead dog into temptation
To make it easier for your dog to get rid of his excess weight, you should remove all temptations. For example, do not let your four-legged friend into the kitchen when you are preparing food for yourself, otherwise he might snack on dropped food scraps. If you have more than one pet, it is also a good idea to feed them separately and put away the bowl of the other pet that is not on a diet after it has finished eating. Otherwise, there is a risk that your dog will steal food from someone else’s bowl.