51% of dogs in Europe are overweight or obese, and that excess weight is tied to an astonishing array of health problems.
You can seek your vet’s counsel on your dog’s ideal weight, but a quick way to assess good canine condition at home is to ask:
1. Does your dog have an hour-glass shape when you stand behind them and look down?
2. Do they have a waist?
3. Can you easily feel their ribs?
If you’re getting three “nos,” there’s a good chance your dog needs to lose weight. So, now what? Here is 7 vet-approved tips for helping your dog safely shed excess pounds and keeping them in good condition.
1. The food factor
For a dog owner trying to manage or reduce their dog’s weight, food is most important. Weight loss for humans and dogs is 60-70% diet and 30-40% exercise.
2. Get specific with how much you’re feeding
It’s essential to establish a concrete benchmark for how much to feed. This means determining the number of calories your dog needs every day. The feeding guidelines on pet food packages, are based on active adult dogs for all life stages. If your pet is spayed or neutered, and not particularly active, you can already be overfeeding by 20 or 30% or more.
3. Try breaking up meals
Multiple, small meals require energy to digest, which burns calories. Feeding small meals every four to six hours helps keep your dog’s insulin levels stable, which reduces appetite spikes and keeps your dog’s tummy full most of the day. Once your dog’s metabolism begins to work properly, excess pounds come off easily.
4. Food quality is also key
In addition to calorie counting, is feeding lower carb, whole, fresh food. Many processed dog foods are full of carb-based fillers. When you actually break down the ingredients on the label, many of them top out at over 60% or more carbohydrates. Vets generally recommend diets that have balanced protein and carbohydrates.
5. Treats count, so count them
Treats should be factored into, and comprise no more than, 10% of total daily calories. Many vets, recommend using single-ingredient treats like fresh veggies and fruit. You can get that joyful response with healthy treats, or with smaller portions. There are many ways to show love and bond with your pet. It doesn’t have to be all about food.
6. Increase Exercise, Safely
The most obvious, and important, activity for your dog is walking. Regular walks don’t just exercise your dog’s body, they provide crucial mental stimulation and that all-important opportunity to sniff. The amount of walking your dog needs, or wants, depends on their breed and general health.
While the recommended minimum of daily exercise is 20 minutes, twice a day, many dogs will need much more. If your dog needs to lose weight, try to increase the amount of exercise they currently do by 10-20%.
Also, keep weather conditions—like high sun—in mind if your activities are outdoors. The sun creates potential for heat stroke and burnt paw pads.
7. Rule out a medical condition
If you’ve established and are staying within caloric boundaries and you’re and still not having any luck helping your dog lose weight, a visit to the vet could be in order to rule out a medical condition. Weight gain and lethargy can be symptoms of conditions like hypothyroidism and Cushing’s Syndrome.
Weight loss and maintenance is a long game
Overall, the best weight management strategy is to develop good habits that are applied, consistently, long-term.
Overweight and obesity are a major problem for dogs in the Western world. Obesity can give rise to lifestyle diseases and shorten the life of the animal. Obesity in dogs leads to an increased risk of diabetes, joint pain, skin diseases, weakened immune system and puts an increased strain on internal organs and the skeleton.
We in Vigor & Sage believe that for most people a pet is like a member of the family. Based on this belief we have created a range of fine foods with natural herbal boosting effects.
We feel it is our responsibility to move the pet food industry in a healthier and more transparent direction. It’s not just about selling products. it’s about providing people with a brand they can trust and be inspired by.
Lotus Leaf Weight Control is espesially developed for overweight dogs. Full of natural healthy ingredients and low on carb.