Is your dog a bit overweight and needs to lose weight? The secret to helping their diet is to follow simple principles of fewer calories and burning more energy. Sounds easy right? However, if weight loss was that easy, why are so many pets still overweight?
Today, dogs are getting fatter than ever before. In fact, over 45% of dogs in the United States are considered overweight or suffering from obesity. What makes the situation worse is that obesity in dogs can be life-threatening as they are more likely to suffer from medical conditions that will leave them disabled. Medical conditions include arthritis, diabetes, lung disorders, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancerous tumors, and immune dysfunction.
Add Years to Your Dog’s Life by Living Healthy
Studies show that dogs who maintain an ideal health body weight end up living at least two years longer than dogs that are overweight. That is because overweight dogs are more likely to die at a younger age due to their risk of health conditions.
Understand the Measures of Obesity
Many pet owners fail to recognize an overweight dog. In fact, veterinarians report that out of 50% of the overweight dogs they see, only 17% of those pet owners agree. Pet obesity comes from dogs living a sedentary lifestyle. They eat as much as an active dog, yet burn little to no calories.
Dogs that consume more calories than they need will gain weight. This means that your dog must eat less and exercise more to lose weight.
Determine Your Dog’s Ideal Weight
You can start your dog’s diet plan by understanding their ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help you determine this as well as screen your pet for health conditions that play a role in obesity. Once you know the ideal weight, you will be able to determine the proper amount of calories that you will feed your dog on a daily basis. When most dogs reduce their food intake, this will lead to predictable weight loss results. However, this will depend on the dog’s age and level of daily activity.
Read the Food Labels
Consider pet food that is designed for weight maintenance rather than weight loss. It is important to follow instructions of portions as this will likely lead to weight gain. Feed according to the calories required. You will need to understand how many calories are contained per cup.
However, if your dog is already reaching obesity, your veterinarian will help you design a customized weight loss program for your dog.
Beg More, Feed Less
Weight loss can be achieved by feeding your pets less. To achieve proper maintenance, you will need to feed your dog small amounts to achieve the required calories to lose weight. This will allow your pet to feel less satisfied and work for more.
It is important to reach the dog’s ideal weight to help improve their health. Once they have achieved their proper weight, the amount of food will most likely be gradually increased. It is also important to continue monitoring your pet for any changes in weight.