A dog is a man’s best friend. They shower you with their love and loyalty and make you feel special. It is but natural that you respond by pampering and caring for your loving pet. In doing so, sometimes the pet is fed with food on demand. The pet may not be getting enough exercise or walk. As a result, there is a rising trend of obesity in dogs. Research shows that overweight dogs are vulnerable to ailments such as diabetes, cardiac trouble and arthritis. It can also impact the life span of the animal. It’s not very easy to break the habits and teach an old dog some new tricks.
Here are some easy and simple ways to put your overweight dog on a diet –
1. Set up a plan as per your targets
The first step is to assess whether your dog is indeed overweight. The best way is to get a vet’s opinion in the matter. Your doctor can help prescribe the right weight for your pet. Accordingly, you should schedule a plan with target-dates to achieve the desired weight. You should strive to reduce the weight in small decrements to get to your target. Your dog might also display overweight dog symptoms like lethargy, inactivity, reluctance to move much, joint pain etc. Watch out for these signs and symptoms.
2. Reduce the food quantity in small steps
There are special dog diet food and weight loss dog recipes available for overweight dogs. One of the simplest ways to put an overweight dog on a diet is to measure the actual quantity of food it consumes daily. You can do some research to find the exact calorie intake from the diet.If this diet is leading to obesity, you should reduce the quantity of food in small steps. Some dogs are able to adjust to the small change. This can be a big help in getting your dog on a diet. For more information on this, here is the overweight dog chart to help you decide further action.
3. Increase your dog’s workout routine
Most dogs love the outdoors. But if you are pressed for time, the dog does not get the right amount of exercise. Make an attempt to increase the time you spend with you dog. Take him/her out for long walks. You can change the terrain or go hiking on weekends, to add variety. Try cycling while your dog runs alongside to keep pace with you. If you cannot find time at all, consider hiring a dog-walker to step in for you.
4. Teach new tricks
Some dogs over-eat due to boredom. Try to get them charged up by introducing some new activities for them. Try to teach the dog some new tricks. It can get their brains working and keep them busy. Take care not to shower them with calorific treats as a reward. As the dogs keep occupied, it keeps their mind of food. Thus, it is a very simple way to put your overweight dog on a diet.
5. Make them earn their food
Another interesting way is to get your dogs to work hard to get to the food. Throw in a challenge by hiding the food in a toy or getting the dog to pull or dig it out with some efforts. In this way, the pet burns calories and uses some brain power before getting to their reward.
6. No free choice
Some dogs that are left home alone the whole day, are given the choice of unlimited food. Since there is no one to dispense each meal, the dog is provided access to the entire bag. Taking this liberty, the dog may be overeating and getting food at any time of the day. As far as possible, stop the free choice and serve limited portions of meals to the dogs at fixed hours.
7. Weight loss dog food recipes
Try using these best weight loss dog food recipes:
- 4 cups cooked veggies like carrots, peas, sweet potato mixed with bran, oats, ground meat. Feed no more than twice a day. Do not give treats. Feed the dog plenty of water.
- Bread made using millet or sorghum. Serve it with chicken broth, milk or boiled chicken. Feed two times a day.
- Apples, carrots, zucchini make for excellent low calorie treats.
Dieting is always challenging – for humans and animals. It is difficult to get your pet to cooperate with you on a diet challenge. The basic idea is to make it interesting, challenging and fun for the dogs. The above listed ways to put your overweight dog on a diet can give you a good start!