Being overweight is not a problem restricted to human beings. According to the latest reports, more than half of pet dogs are above a healthy weight. This phenomenon is often caused by irregular diet, aging, or improper medications. In any case, this vast number of overweight dogs await the risk of diabetes, kidney failures, pancreatitis, cardiovascular diseases, and even cancer.
On the other hand, a slender dog will always be more agile, healthy, and less prone to critical illnesses. Although a fat dog looks adorable to you, it is high time you took note of the risks involved and made amends with the help of the following four tips:
1. Give your dog a low-calorie high protein diet:
Food is the most critical factor that regulates your dog’s body weight. An unbalanced eating routine will gather fat and won’t supply the essential nutrients to your dog. If you are not aware of the number of calories your dog needs in a day, you will eventually end up overfeeding her more often than not. At the same time, lower calorie intake will affect her performance as there will be a shortage of energy to perform basic tasks. The situation will be more confusing for you if you have dogs of different age ranges, as all of them have different calorie requirements.
There is a stark difference between the calorie need of an active and inactive dog. An adult dog who stays mostly indoor will need a lesser number of calories per day (350 calories at the most). According to expert opinion, an adult, active, and neutered dog with a bodyweight of 10 kilograms needs a daily consumption of 400 calories to function properly. Importantly, there are some dog breeds like the Jack Russell Terrier, which require a lot more energy than others.
If the food your dog eats does not contain enough protein, it will affect her growth. Ideally, dogs need 1 gram of protein per pound of their body weight. Some conventional animal protein sources for dogs are fish, turkey, chicken, soybeans, eggs, etc.
2. Make your dog play and train to maintain weight:
Even if you succeed in keeping the calorie levels of your dog-food as right as possible, an idle dog will become overweight sooner or later because she is burning lesser calories than she is consuming. Hence, it would help if you kept your dog active regularly, whether it is by making her run after you, having a brisk walk, or making her jump in the air to catch a plaything. Making your dog move a lot will not only serve to reduce her weight but also enhance cardiac and bone health. Regular exercise will also help your dog to maintain stable blood pressure and lessen the risk of having arthritis or other joint diseases.
Your dog may not be willing to cooperate with you in such activities straight away. It can happen if your dog was sitting listlessly for a long time. It would be best if you tried to begin with around 20 minutes sessions and see how they respond. Another trick is to provide them with all the lucrative stuff that will lure them into physical activities. A reluctant dog may come forward to play when they see a colorful ball, a soft mattress to play on, a flexible T-shirt, a thick and comfortable collar, a cool travel carrier, and even some yummy dried food as a reward at the end of the training. If all these seem overwhelming to you, Dog Yoga provides all your dog care supplies in one place.
3. Feed your dog the essential fats and vitamins:
It is a proven fact that all fats do not harm one’s health. Your dog’s body needs fat to absorb vitamins and to shield her heart and brain health. Although ‘bad’ fats like saturated and artificial ones will increase the dog’s weight, essential fats like omega-3s will, on the contrary, regulate your pet’s weight. Avocados, Cheese, Nuts, and Extra Virgin Olive Oil are some of the things that can provide your dog with omega-3 fats. The fats also control the cholesterol levels of your dog. A proper cholesterol level will ensure your dog does not fall victim to cardiovascular diseases, kidney disease, and strokes.
Vitamins also help to keep your dogs in shape indirectly. Vitamins A, C, E, and K prevent critical diseases. B Vitamins will support your dog’s blood cells and nerve functions. Regular consumption of Vitamin-rich foods like carrots, broccoli, Potatoes, leafy vegetables, sea fishes, fruits will make sure that your dog is in sound health and does not become stationary due to ill health.
4. Make your dog’s food once in a while and measure the portion size:
You will probably buy quality dog food to give her optimum nutrition. However, it is good to sometimes make the food for her at home. Making a homemade diet gives you the chance to blend adequate portions of protein, fat, and carbohydrate along with greens in your dog’s food. You can make a mixed dish with corn, vegetables, animal proteins such as meat and eggs. This will hugely cut down the costs and give you the control to include things in the dish according to your wish. Even if you don’t discontinue all of the commercial pet food, you can at least replace a part of it. It will also help to lower the carbs from your dog’s diet as dried pet food contains large portions of carbohydrates, which is not much beneficial for getting a lean body.
While you are at making the best possible diet for your dog, it is also essential to measure the serving size and make changes to it accordingly. If your dog is habituated to consume big portions of food, cutting down massively at once is not a great idea. Instead, try to reduce by small bits every week until the calorie and other nutrient levels reach the marks mentioned above. The right blend of food, taken in wisely measured portions, will gradually push your dog towards gaining a lean body. You can check your dog’s body weight once in two weeks to understand if your measurements are on point.
Like human beings, pet dogs also need to be in good shape to get the best out of life. An overweight, unhealthy dog will not only create problems for itself, but it will also harm the mood of the people taking care of her. An excellent way to maintain her shape is to do it yourself. As we know that dogs are great learners, they will eventually pick up your workout habits, and both of you will make a cool, lean pair!