Tuesday, 9 March 2021

Watching your dog's weight


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Dogs can get overweight just like humans. This can increase the risk of all kinds of health problems later in life including heart disease, cancer, diabetes and arthritis. Such health problems could ultimately shorten your dog’s life. For this reason, it’s worth keeping your dog’s weight under control. 

Below are just a few ways to look after your dog’s weight. 

Invest in the right dog food

Not all dog food brands provide the same nutritional benefits. In fact, some low quality brands can be very fattening. By doing your research, you can avoid such brands.

Some types of dog food may be better suited to certain breeds. For instance, small breed dogs require more calories per pound than larger dogs. Certain dogs can also have sensitive stomachs - they may require specialist sensitive dog foods which you can learn more about here. It’s worth noting that puppies also need specific food and shouldn’t be fed adult food.

Go easy on the treats

Treats can be a useful training tool, but too many could affect the weight of your dog. Be careful of over-feeding your dog calorie-packed dog biscuits or other treats.

You should also be careful about giving your dog scraps of human food as a treat. This is particularly the case with fast food, which will have the same effect on your dog’s waistline as it has on humans. 

Be wary of portions

You can also cause your dog to become overweight by feeding it overly large portions. Even large amounts of kibble will cause weight gain.

Know exactly how much food you should be giving your dog per day. Portion control is important not just for controlling weight but also preventing health problems such as bloat in certain breeds. 

Give your dog the exercise it needs

Dogs also need regular exercise to burn off calories. The amount of exercise a dog needs varies depending on the breed. For instance, a thirty minute walk may be enough for a basset hound to burn all the fat they need. However, a husky may require a minimum of two hours per day (they burn fat at a much slower rate). Make sure your dog is getting all the physical activity it needs.

Be wary of medical conditions

Some medical conditions can cause a dog to suddenly put on weight. Low thyroid function is an example of this - a dog may be eating exactly the same portions, but may suddenly start piling on the weight. Consider seeing a vet if you notice any unusual weight gain.

Get a dog weight loss plan

If your dog is already overweight, you’ll want to start a dog weight loss plan. These are exactly like human weight loss plans but targeted at dogs - they may involve strict dietary changes or alterations in exercising scheduling. Always seek out a qualified dog nutritionist when looking into these weight loss plans. 

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