To help keep your dog at a healthy weight, don't feed him table scraps.

Tips for Helping Your Dog Slim Down

Jane McDonald | April 11, 2018

There is nothing like the start of Spring, with warm weather, time outdoors and the impending bathing suit season, to turn our focus to getting healthy.

Whether it’s a better work-life balance, exercising more or slimming down, we know we feel better when we’re taking care of ourselves. 

What we have to remember is the same is true for our dogs.  

“According to a study by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, roughly 53% of dogs (and 58% of cats) in the U.S. are overweight or obese, with rates continuing to rise.”

What’s even more concerning is that 90% of parents to obese pets did not recognize that their fur babies weighed more than they should!  Canine obesity can lead to major issues like arthritis, diabetes and disease of the liver and heart, not to mention carrying extra pounds limits their quality of life.  So, here are some easy-peezy tips for helping your pup maintain a healthy weight.

Know Your Pet’s Ideal Weight and Pay Attention to That Number

This is the first and critical piece of information you must have - what should your dog weigh?  This is a number that varies based on breed, size, diet, activity level and many other factors such as season and age.  Work with your trusted veterinarian to hone in on a healthy weight range for your dog and weigh them on a monthly basis to ensure your dog is within that range.  

Feed Them the Right Food

Choose an age-appropriate dog food that skips by-products, fillers and synthetic preservatives and instead chose one made with natural, whole ingredients.  Bargain dog food requires a larger serving size to reach the nutritional value of a premium dog food serving, meaning the so-called savings are eliminated with a huge serving size that still leave gaps in your dog’s diet.

And Feed The Right Amount

Once you have selected a wholesome premium dog food, closely review the recommended feeding instructions on the back panel of the bag.  Along with this information you will want to consider your dog’s age, size and activity level, as well as speak with your vet to determine the serving size and frequency that is right for your dog.  Remember that puppies are a wild card here and require vastly different feeding than adult dogs.

Daily Activity

This one might seem like a no-brainer, but dogs need daily activity!  Even the littlest of dogs need exercise and bigger breeds just need a lot of it!  Make a commitment to your dog (and yourself) to take a walk together every single day, no excuses.  And if weather gets in the way, translate that to indoor play that elevates both of your heart rates.  Talk to your vet about the amount of activity your dog needs daily to maintain physical and mental wellness.

No More Table Scraps

While sneaking your dog some delicious table scraps on a nightly basis might feel like a loving practice, it is the exact opposite.  You are packing them with additional calories that only weigh them down. We suggest finding alternative ways to bond your dog such as walks, play time and physical contact.

Five simple tips - we told you it would be easy peezy!  You love your dog, there is no doubt about that. And with that love, you are the only one who can make the responsible choices needed to ensure you live a long and active life together.  

So go out there and make good choices!  After all, your dog is counting on you.