Prevent Doggie Obesity – 5 Tips to Help Your Dog Lose Weight
Even if you think that you are spoiling or providing your pup with extra love by giving him or her extra snacks, treats and cookies, the truth is that your dog is not happy or healthy.
Overweight dogs are at greater risk for a whole slew of ailments including; heart disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic fatigue. Jet Pet Resort has put together the following five tips to help you immediately make some changes to promote a happier, healthier life for your dog.
Tip #1 – Determine if Your Dog is Fat – The Rib Test, Take Its Weight, Compare
Understanding that different breeds have different appearances, determining if your dog is overweight may not be that easy. We suggest that you do the ‘Rib Test’ – run your hand along the side of your dog and feel for its ribs. You should to easily feel your dogs ribs. If you can not, your dog is overweight. Next take its weight. Step on a scale with your pup and then subtract your own weight from the total to get his or her weight. Finally, compare your pups weight to an average weight for its breed.
Tip #2 – Visit Your Vet and Make a Plan
You will have a chance to learn more about how your dog compares with others in its breed. Find out your dog’s recommended daily calorie intake. Your Vet can help you determine the best way to reduce the overall calorie intake for your dog and the best exercise program given your dogs health history. There are special foods, reduced fat diets, and even changing the frequency of feeding times can help. Work with your Veterinarian to come up with a realistic timeline and action plan.
Tip #3 – Begin, Monitor and Record The Changes
Start by committing to this new plan. This is as much about your routine as it is your pups. Make sure that you have an accurate measuring cup, and begin a simple chart with the date, your dogs weight, the amount of food fed and the exercise for that particular day. Record this each and every day at the end of the day. This weight loss journal will be a good resource when returning to your Vet for a follow up visit.
Tip #4 – Elimination and the 10% Rule
You need to virtually eliminate all of the unhealthy treats, snacks, and human food from your dogs diet. Each dog has a recommended daily calorie intake. Any ‘extra’s’ in your dogs diet should NEVER exceed 10% of that number. At the beginning of your dog’s diet, eliminate snacks and treats all together and then when reintroduced, concentrate on healthy alternatives such as carrots and celery.
Tip #5 – Exercise Program and Playtime – Good for Both of You!
Changing your dogs diet is only one part of the equation. You have to commit to daily walks, exercise and dedicated playtime. Depending on your dogs obesity, you may want to consider trips to the beach for some swimming. Start with smaller amounts of exercise and then gradually increase. Because your dog is overweight and perhaps under exercised, too much too soon is a bad idea. Gradually increase the distance of walks and the amount of playtime. Spending time and playing with your dog is also a fantastic way to get a little exercise yourself, and studies continue to prove the correlation between reducing ones stress and playing with animals.
In the long run, the time and energy that you commit to helping your dog get into better shape will pay huge dividends in terms of your dogs health, and ultimately in the length of time your dog lives. A few simple changes and a better dedicated schedule will make all them, difference!
At Jet Pet Resort our guests get plenty of exercise and remain on the diet that you have them on. Not only does each guest go on a long daily group walk, they are always playing, running and swimming with the other guests and our pet specialists. Each meal is prepared to your specific instructions and all guests are fed in their own luxury room apart from the others. We even have a fitness program, doggie treadmills, private walks, and a staff trainer for owners who would like a little bit more of a workout for their pet.