Seeing your pet happy each time you feed them may seem adorable but you may soon be a proud pet parent of a very chubby pup. Even if your dog looks cute with a rounder body, the excess weight isn’t good. If you continue feeding them more food than they need, your dog may become overweight.
Obesity can be detrimental to your dog’s quality of life. It can develop into troubling health issues like diabetes and heart disease. Your furry friend can also have worse pain in his joints if he has arthritis as a result of the extra pounds straining their joints.
Given the negative effects of pet obesity, you need to make sure your canine companion maintains a healthy weight. Your veterinarian can tell you the ideal weight for your dog, which is based on their breed and size. Apart from that, you can also follow these tips to keep your beloved canine healthy and happy.
Manage Their Food Portions
One of the best ways to keep your dog from becoming overweight is to manage how much food they eat. Typically, you can find information about the recommended feeding portion on the label of your pet’s food. Most dog food labels feature a chart that indicates how much you should give your dog depending on their age, size, lifestyle, and activities. For example, a young active pup requires more calories compared to a sedentary senior dog. To be certain, consult your veterinarian about the recommended amount of food you should give your dog daily.
Follow a Regular Feeding Schedule
Apart from making sure your dog gets the appropriate amount of food, you also want to make sure you aren’t feeding them too often as this can also contribute to obesity. To keep your dog in optimum health, create and follow a healthy feeding routine.
If you’re just starting to introduce a feeding schedule, train your pup to receive their daily food at the same time. Also, only give them a specific timeframe to consume everything in their pet bowl. To start, you can allot around 30 minutes per mealtime. Once that time is up, throw away any leftovers and offer food again eight to twelve hours later. By this time, your pup will be hungry and ready to eat again.
Stay consistent with the feeding time so their body can adjust and is prepared for mealtimes. This will also prevent your dog from overeating or eating too little. So even if you and your pup are away from home, make sure to bring their food on your trips. Also, consider getting customizable collapsible dog travel cups that are easy to clean and pack. By taking your own travel dog bowls, you can ensure your pup can eat and drink on schedule regardless of where you are.
Change Your Dog’s Pet Bowl
When at home, many pet parents opt to feed their dogs using stainless steel dog bowls because they’re widely available and easy to clean. They’re also very durable and won’t easily break or dent in case you have a playful pup. However, some canines may need a different kind of food bowl. For example, if your dog tends to wolf down their food too quickly, they’re more likely to overeat. Also, dogs who eat too fast can develop health issues like bloating or gastric dilation. In this case, it’s better if they have a slow-feeder dog bowl.
A slow feeder is a pet bowl with ridges and barriers that hinder dogs from eating quickly. These obstructions force your pup to put more effort and time before they can access the food, slowing down their feeding. By offering a different pet bowl, you can prevent your furry pal from overeating and becoming obese.
Be Mindful of the Treats You Give
When your precious pup is doing such a good job, it’s natural to reward them with a tasty treat. Treats are useful for encouraging good behavior, but if you frequently give your pet treats, you may be overfeeding them. So, continue to reward your pet but be more mindful of how many treats you give. Ideally, one or two pieces per day are enough.
Also, remember to check the ingredients of the treats you give. Some treats, despite their small size, may contain a lot of calories. Alternatively, you can switch from using processed treats to healthier options like raw carrots or string beans. These allow your pet to have something special to nibble on while allowing them to stay at a healthy weight.
Get Them Moving
Another leading cause of dog obesity is a sedentary lifestyle, so make sure to take your pet out for some exercise every day. You can encourage physical activities like walking, running, and swimming. Getting your pet to move regularly helps burn calories and boost their metabolism, which can keep your dog from gaining extra pounds. Being active keeps your pup’s muscles and bones healthy, plus it prevents your furry friend from being bored, so it also enhances their quality of life.
Although a dog with a rounder body and face may seem adorable, being excessively large and heavy isn’t healthy for your pet. To ensure your four-legged pal stays fit, follow the recommendations above. If your dog is already beyond their ideal weight, consult your vet about the best way to help them shed some of their excess pounds.
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