Top 10 Weight-Loss Tips for Dogs
We all love to indulge our pooches and I’m sure I’m not the only one who can’t imagine a dog living his life eating nothing but plain old kibble. Right? So, we tasty-it-up, don’t we? A yummy morsel here and there followed by the old excuse, “but my dog doesn’t like to walk in the rain, the snow, the heat, fill in your own excuse… “, and what we end up with is an obese dog.
There’s no question we all want our best buddies to live long and healthy lives without back or joint pain and with all the energy of a young pup. Further, we’d probably do anything and spend any amount of money to accomplish this.
The truth is, it’s not rocket science. It actually takes just a little time, effort and diligence on your part. But the end result is a companion who will be happy, healthy and walking alongside you for many more years to come.
So, it’s with this in mind, that we’re sharing out top 10 tips for helping your dogs achieve their ideal weight and fitness levels.
- Don’t free-feed. Introduce specific feeding times for your dog so that he can pace his intake and doesn’t get used to grazing all day long.
- Opt for higher protein foods. Dry foods that are high in carbohydrates / fillers don’t keep him satisfied and he will always be seeking out something more to eat.
- Keep the food of other pet’s out of reach. Cat kibble is a tasty favorite that dogs can be quick to gobble down. Particularly as cats tend to eat smaller amounts and return throughout the day.
- Ration treats. Make sure they’re earned versus handed out randomly. This can reinforce training and set expectations for your dog.
- Choose quality treats. Your dog can pick up a lot of extra calories throughout his day by noshing down on high-fat, high-carb treats.
- Slow his eating. Puzzle mats are a great way to slow the consumption of kibble. Licking mats can be slathered with a wet food and prevent wolfing of food.
- Introduce Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids to his diet. In addition to helping with heart and joint health, they help your pet feel more satisfied.
- Decrease his portion size. Not in a drastic way, but a 5% reduction in the food he receives for each meal period can result in a steady, gradual loss.
- Keep him preoccupied. Because dogs love to chew and are prepared to devote a copious amount of time to this activity, find a low-fat chew that he can work away at. Something like dried beef sticks that he can work away at.
- Keep him active. Daily walks are a must for every dog breed and if they’re missed, you end up with a bored, lethargic dog who starts to pack on the pounds. If it can’t be helped, then have alternate indoor / outdoor activity planned such as tossing a ball or frisbee.
More by Mary Simpson