Is your dog is overweight? Well, that is definitely something you should worry about. Just as with humans, excessive weight can cause many health issues in dogs including heart diseases, liver problems, and so on. Ensuring that your dog remains in shape is of critical importance. Below, we list out eight weight loss tips that every dog owner should know.
- Feed More Protein
People usually tend to give their dogs meals which are rich in carbohydrates. This is a bad practice. Feeding your dog with carbs will only lead to weight gain. Instead, start focusing on foods that are rich in protein. This will help to slowly build up lean muscles in your dog’s body. Ideally, your dog’s meal should contain high quantities of protein, moderate amounts of fat, and fewer carbohydrates. Such a diet will ensure that your dog is able to build more muscle than fat.
- Go For Daily Walks
If you have a habit of taking a long walk or jog as part of your daily workout routine, you should consider taking your dog together with you. Restricting your dog in your home will inevitably deprive them of the necessary exercise. By allowing your pets to join you for the daily routine, you help them burn off more calories, thereby preventing them from gaining weight. In addition, regular exercise also strengthens their muscles.
- Snacking From Table
Many dog owners have a tendency to feed the scraps of the dining table to their pets. You need to understand that human food is generally not the right dog food. For one, such foods do not provide the right nutrition that a dog’s body requires. Secondly, human meals generally tend to contain lots of fats. Hence, feeding such food, even in the form of scraps, is not at all good for your pet’s weight.
- Omega 3 Fats
You should also ensure that your dog is fed with proper amounts of omega 3 fatty acids. In addition to providing Vitamin D, the omega 3 fats are also good at preventing heart diseases and regulating blood pressure. And most importantly, they also promote weight loss. The best way to provide omega 3 fats to pets is by sprinkling fish oil in the food. Keep in mind to limit fish oil to about 1000 mg for every 30 pounds of the dog’s body weight. This should provide your pets with the adequate nutrition that will nourish their body and keep them healthy.
- Play Fetch
Playing fetch is something every dog owner must do. It allows you to play with your dogs and at the same time, offers them a great time of physical activity. Most dogs instinctively love this game. If you throw something far away, they will run to the object, pick it up, and bring it back to you. Doing this activity repeatedly for an hour should give your pets a good workout. And if you are not fond of taking your dog out for daily walks, this is an excellent exercise to burn off your pet’s excess calories.
- Portion Size
Another thing to watch out for is the portion size of the meals. If you feed your dogs with large portions of food three or four times a day, they will get fatter for certain. So, consult a vet and find out the ideal portion size of the meals. Plus, keep in mind to cut back on the portion sizes during winter. The cold conditions would have lowered their metabolism and they don’t get to play much outside either. If you feed them with the same quantity of food, then a good portion of it won’t be burned off. Instead, it will simply be converted into fat, making your dog overweight.
When giving treats to your dog, be very careful about its size and fat content. Usually, dog owners provide treats that are too high in fat content since they tend to be tastier. This will only make your dog gain weight. You must also keep in mind to not give any large treats. Instead, you can give them smaller treats more frequently.
- Feeding Instructions
Finally, be sure to read and follow the feeding instructions of the store-bought meals. The instructions will usually detail the exact feeding portions, the age group of the dogs that should not be fed with the food, and so on. If you neglect these instructions, you might end up feeding your pets with something that is completely inappropriate their age group. And this will not only be harmful but can also contribute to their weight gain.