How to Help a Dog Lose Weight Safely

August 20, 2021 | ​​​​​​​
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Most people like to give their pets little treats that they love. Some of these indulgences, however, can cause pets to gain weight. Just like in humans, obesity is a growing epidemic in pets as well.  Overfeeding at meal times is also a common mistake.  The way to a dog’s heart is not through its stomach.

 

You probably noticed that pet dogs are considerably fatter than wild dogs. You might not realize that feral or wild dogs often look the way a fit and healthy dog should look. If you have a canine companion, you want your pet to be well-rounded.

 

Consequences of Weight Problems in Dogs



Weight problems in dogs can have lasting consequences. They can even be fatal. According to various studies, overweight and obese dogs do not live as long as normal-weight dogs. Furthermore, they are more prone to health conditions that can negatively affect their quality of life.

 

Thus, even if you love your furry friend, you might be negatively impacting their health with your generosity. The body works differently in overweight dogs. Many of today’s pets are less active, which means that they do not need much food to maintain their weight.

 

According to some studies, up to 56 percent of dogs in the United States are overweight. Veterinarians connect this excess weight to a wide range of health problems. Even excess weight of as little as five pounds in smaller dogs can put your dog at risk of developing serious medical conditions.

 

Weight-Related Health Conditions in Dogs



For many dogs, it is no longer a question of whether they can develop a condition caused by the extra weight, but rather, how soon or how serious it will be. Some of the conditions associated with excess weight in dogs include:

 

  • High blood pressure             

      

  • Diabetes

     

  • Frequent joint injuries

     

  • Osteoarthritis

     

  • Certain forms of cancer

     

  • Heart Disease

     

  • Respiratory disease

     

  • Reduced immune function

     

  • Lethargy

     

  • Organ dysfunction

     

Safe Weight Loss Tips for Dogs



Weight loss can be extremely difficult for both two-legged and four-legged creatures. However, helping your overweight dog lose a few extra pounds can add years to their life. It will also help make those years more enjoyable for both of you.

 

When it comes to helping your cuddly canine friend lose weight, you first need to know their ideal weight. You also need to keep on top of any weight fluctuations. It requires attention to detail, a veterinarian’s professional advice, and a commitment to fitness and weight loss.

 

The Food Factor



Just like for humans, losing weight comes down to exercise and food intake for dogs. As a caring dog owner looking for ways to help your furry friend lose weight, you must look at food as the most important factor. Weight loss for both dogs and humans, according to experts, begins and ends at the food bowl. It is 30 to 40 percent exercise and 60 to 70 percent diet.

 

Other Ways to Help Your Dog Lose Excess Weight


 

  • Establish a firm benchmark on how much to feed your dog. This means you need to determine the number of calories they need every day

     

  • Break up the meals you feed your dog into several smaller portions

     

  • Feed your dog fresh, whole, low-carb foods and try to avoid processed foods

     

  • Reduce and control your dog’s intake of treats

     

  • Regularly walk your dog and increase exercise

     

  • Create a safe weight loss schedule with the help of your veterinarian


     

To learn how to help your canine companion lose weight safely, visit Tampa Bay K9 Rehabilitation Center at our office in St. Petersburg, Florida. You can call (727) 677-9500 today to schedule an appointment.

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