How to Get an Overweight Dog to Lose Weight
26 December, 2012

If your dog is becoming a bit on the chunky side, it is time for you to try to control your pup’s weight.  It isn’t easy to get your dog to drop weight, especially because you are the one controlling it.  If it were up to your dog, he or she would probably keep eating and eating and not be concerned.  However, it is your responsibility as a dog owner to know that being overweight can be hard on your dog’s joints, kidneys and overall health.

Below are some tips to help you get that extra weight off your dog.

Take your dog to the vet

Take your dog to your vet and have your dog weighed.  You can ask your vet what is considered the ideal weight for your dog.  Your vet can also give you dieting strategies and suggestions to get to your dog’s target weight.

Change your dog’s food to a low calorie, high fiber food

To get your dog to lose weight, purchase a low calorie, high-fiber dog food. There are lots of diet dog foods on the market. When choosing one, look at the nutritional information on the package and compare it with your current dog food as a reference. Select food that is significantly lower in calories and fat, while at the same time, provides plenty of vitamins and other nutrients.

Gradually mix the new dog food with the old food until your dog gets used to it.  Always have plenty of water available so your dog is always hydrated.

Increase your dog’s daily exercise

As in humans, exercise is important to lose weight.  Increase your dog’s daily exercise (unless your dog is not physically up to it). Take your dog for long walks. Walks are safer and easier for dog’s that aren’t used to running. If you walk for an hour with your dog each day, you should notice your dog’s weight drop within a few weeks (and probably yours too)!

Play more games with your dog. Playing with your dog can help reduce his weight dramatically. Play fetch, tug of war or have your dog chase you around the yard. The more exercise he gets, the better.  Bring your pup to the dog park to run around with the other dogs.  Think of it as wind sprints!

Try to eliminate dog treats

I know this is a tough one, but try to stop the dog treats in between meals. Most dog treats are very high in calories. Replace them if necessary with lower calorie snacks, but either way, be sparing in how many you give your dog.   Try not to let your dog guilt-trip you into giving him extra treats or table scraps.  We are all victims of our pet’s sad faces and it’s hard not to resist their pleas!   If you must give your pup a treat, try one that is biscuit based and not meat based.

Give your dog’s new diet some time

You need to wait a few weeks to assess whether the new diet and exercise has helped your dog’s lose weight.  Make sure to weigh your dog as it is also important that your pup is not losing too much weight quickly. Weight loss should be a gradual process and you don’t want your dog to feel too deprived.  If you feed a high fiber, low calorie grade dog food, you can feed your pup the same amount and he or she will hardly notice the difference.

As in humans, getting your dog to lose weight is really a lifestyle adjustment for your dog.  In order to lose weight, he needs to eat well, exercise and drink a lot of water.  Good luck!

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