There are lots of ways in which your dog can lose weight if they are obese or overweight. The first thing is to recognise that your pet is overweight. Although the majority of the weight gain in dogs is caused by over-feeding and not enough exercise, there are some medical conditions that can contribute to obesity in pets. The good news is that most of these diseases and illnesses can be treated by a vet, so it’s important to keep an eye on your pet for any changes.
- Firstly reduce the amount of food you are feeding and feed for the weight the dog should be not what they currently weigh. It is also worth looking into the quality of the food you are feeding – does it contain additives, salt, sugar etc? If so, look to change them over to a healthier diet.
- Increase exercise, but don’t go mad – don’t forget their joints may be sore from carrying the extra weight. Shorter more frequent walks to keep them moving will be far more beneficial than one long walk a day. Swimming is a great work out; low impact, works all muscle groups, helps improve cardiovascular fitness as well as a way to burn off energy and provide stimulation. Did you know 1 minute swimming is the equivalent of a 4 minute run, so it’s a great way to help unfit, overweight dogs work out.
- Cut out treats or use their food allowance throughout the day to reward them. Think about using activity toys, so they have to work for their food and move around at the same time.
But the best way to reduce pet obesity is to work on preventing it in the first place. Feeding your dog a healthy diet and keeping them at a healthy weight will help them to lead a longer and happier life.