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Diet for Overweight Dogs: Weight Loss & Management Tips
When people take their dogs to the veterinarian, the last thing they expect to hear is that their pets are overweight or obese. Many people will flat out deny it and say that they’re just “fluffy,” but the reality of weight issues in dogs is far from adorable or “just a little fluffy.” Obesity is a serious issue that few pet parents are willing to address, which is unfortunate since it can lead to much worse health problems down the road. If your vet suspects your dog is overweight or obese, it’s time to take control of your dog’s diet and lifestyle before things progress to dire circumstances.
How Do I Know My Dog is Overweight or Obese?
While a vet should tell you if your dog is overweight or obese, there are some telltale signs that will tell you. The most obvious sign of an overweight or obese dog is a lack of a waist (between hips and ribcage), giving them a rounded, barrel-like look. If your dog is more than a few pounds overweight, the hips and ribcage will be completely invisible.
The second sign is inactivity, especially in breeds that enjoy exercising and have naturally higher levels of activity. Dogs are playful by nature, even breeds that don’t necessarily love running around all day. If your dog is too lazy for exercise or struggles to make it down the street without being exhausted, your dog might have a weight problem.
Another sign of overweight problems or obesity is diet. How much are you feeding your dog? Does he or she get a lot of people food or dog treats? These are a few of many questions you’ll have to answer if you suspect your dog is overweight. Many dog owners don’t know that they’re most likely overfeeding their dogs, so it’s crucial to feed your dog a diet that reflects his or her body size and activity levels.
What is the difference between Overweight and Obese?
When first learning about dog weight and diet, the terms ‘overweight’ and ‘obese’ are often thrown around. While one is worse than the other, they’re both serious issues that are far too common. Overweight is a term that simply means over the limit of what your dog should weigh, which is quite common amongst many dogs. It’s easy to fix with a stricter diet and more exercise, which your vet can guide you through.
Obesity, however, beyond overweight and means your dog’s body fat index is much higher than normal. It’s a serious condition that needs medication intervention with your vet, a strict diet, and daily exercise to help get rid of the weight as quickly as possible without risking your dog’s health. If your dog is truly obese, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible for help.
Why is Obesity and Being Overweight Bad for Dogs?
Weight problems and obesity are both terrible for dogs, leading to multiple health issues that are sometimes irreversible. Here are some common conditions that overweight and obese dogs may run into:
- Heart Disease
- Liver Failure
- Elbow/Patella Luxation
- Hip Dysplasia
- Spine/Neck issues
- Mobility Issues
If you think your dog is already heading for these issues, please call your vet as soon as possible. The sooner your dog is on a healthier path, the better your dog’s life will be later on.
Are Certain Breeds Prone to Weight Problems and Obesity?
Yes, there are some dog breeds that are more prone to obesity. However, small dogs, in general, are more likely to be overweight. Here are some breeds that may fall prey to weight gain:
- Yorkshire Terrier
- English Mastiff
- Labrador Retriever
- Golden Retriever
- French Bulldog
- Boston Terrier
- English Bulldog
- Staffordshire Terrier
- Bull Terrier
- Great Dane
How Can I Help My Dog Lose Weight?
Call your Vet
Talk to your vet for help with diet and weight management tips. There are some things we can suggest, but completely changing a dog’s diet and lifestyle should always be done with a vet’s approval and supervision. Every dog has its own nutritional needs, which is why getting professional advice is crucial.
Check your Dog’s Food
Check your dog’s food label and see how much it calls for, then compare it to how much you’re feeding. Different dog food brands have different caloric amounts per cup, so you might be feeding more than needed. Also, some brands of dog food tend to call for more food than necessary, so you may have to cut down on the kibble (with vet approval). Another thing to check for is low-quality filler ingredients, which are just empty calories that do nothing for your dog’s health.
One of the easiest things to start doing is to take your dog for a walk! While you shouldn’t drag an out-of-shape dog out for a 5k run, start pushing your dog to be a little more active by setting up walks throughout the day. If your dog doesn’t want to get out and move, try using dog-safe vegetables like broccoli or carrots to coax him or her into moving around.
Swap Out Treats for Veggies
While some dogs will not approve of this, but many other dogs love vegetables! If your dog is a big veggie lover, swap out treats for veggies instead. If your dog is not a vegetable lover, try to find high-quality treats that are low in calories per treat. Treats that are biscuit-like, such as Milkbone, are rarely healthy and will add to your dog’s weight problem.
Dog weight can be a sensitive topic, with many pet owners swearing that their dog isn’t fat at all. While it may not seem like a serious problem, dog obesity a nationwide issue that plagues hundreds of dogs yearly. If you think your dog has a weight issue, consult with your vet as soon as you can to prevent other problems from arriving. With persistence and patience, your dog can lose the extra weight and seem years younger than before.
Simple Solutions About Dogs That Are Easy To Follow
When you have a dog, you have a best friend. Millions of dog owners around the world know this to be true. However, you are tasked with caring with a dog if you choose to bring one into your home. That’s why you need to have some tips about how best to do this. Keep reading for some great dog tips.
Just like humans, dogs should go to the vet for a checkup yearly. Since your dog does not speak the human language, he simply cannot tell you if his tooth aches or his arthritis is making it difficult for him to walk. Annual checkups can catch these things before they become major problems.
When you take your dog with you on vacation, take a picture and save it to your phone. In the event that he gets separated from you, you have easy access to a current photo to put on flyers that will help identify him.
It is very important for you to keep your dog’s ears clean. Keeping the inside of the ears clean will help prevent infections of the ear. This is also a good time for you to inspect the ear for fleas, ticks and any other pests that could have made your dog’s ear home.
Don’t make you dog eat something they don’t want to eat. For instance, don’t force it to eat a treat that it appears to hate. The best judge of what your dog likes is the dog himself. Fancy name brands mean nothing.
Not everyone is good at training dogs, so quit trying if you see things are not going as well as planned. Instead of beating yourself up about it, get in touch with a trainer in your area. Since they have more experience with dogs, it may be much easier for them to train yours.
Avoid impersonating a medical professional when it comes to your dog’s health. In an attempt to save money, many people try to diagnose their pet’s conditions or use human treatments on various elements and that can be very dangerous to the animal. If you can’t afford full vet care, tell that to the doctor and ask their advice anyway or if they could arrange a payment plan for you.
Do you have a hard time keeping your dog from barking? You might be encouraging this behavior without even realizing it. Your dog will keep barking if you acknowledge this behavior. It is best to ignore your dog until it stops barking, even if your dog wants to come inside.
If you breed your dog, do so responsibly. The AKC advises all owners of pure-bred dogs to make an effort to advance the breed and discard all other motivations, such as money or experimentation. Consider the repercussions of your actions before allowing your dog to mate and create a litter of puppies.
Be a responsible dog owner, to represent the species well. For example, Pit Bulls are feared and often even hated in most places these days, due to irresponsible ownership. People tend to blame the animals when in fact it’s the human factor influencing the dog’s behavior. Train your dog well and leave a good impression on others!
Punish your dog carefully. You should never punish your dog for a mischief that happened more than fifteen minutes ago since your dog will probably not establish a connection between the punishment and the bad behavior. If you catch your dog misbehaving, say no in a firm voice and have your dog sit in a corner for a few minutes.
Brush your dog’s teeth every week. Use a child’s toothbrush that is soft, some nylon pantyhose over your finger, or a gauze pad. Don’t use regular toothpaste. Instead, try using a baking soda and water paste or toothpaste made for dogs. Clean their teeth one to two times a week.
Be consistent when giving your dog commands. This is an area where a lot of dog owners have a problem, especially when you won’t feed your dog from the table but your spouse will. In the event you loved this article and you wish to receive more info about cat Ate honey generously visit our web-page. Make sure that everyone in your home understands what’s acceptable so that the dog will receive a clear message. That will make him more likely to obey.
Your dog needs to be protected in the summer time. Dogs get overheated quite easily. Reserve a cool and shady area for your dog to hang out. Be sure your dog can get to clean, cool water at all times. Also, dogs can have problems with the sun’s rays, so see if the vet has any sunscreens for dogs.
Make sure that you carry small bags and gloves with you while you are out walking your dog. If he uses the bathroom outside, it is your responsibility to clean up the mess. It is unsanitary for you to leave it there, and it some places you may receive heavy fines for that.
Just like people, dogs need their exercise too. Playing a game of fetch or Frisbee is a great way to get your dog to burn some calories, while having fun at the same time. Dogs should also be walked everyday. Some dogs require more exercise than others, which is why it is so important to understand your dogs needs.
If your dogs breath smells extremely bad, it is important to set up a vet visit to make sure this is not coming from some type of mouth problem. Such problems could be tooth decay or an infection. If untreated, more problems could arise causing further expenses down the road.
Some people think it is cute to give their dog alcohol, but it is dangerous. In high doses, alcohol is toxic to humans and even more so for animals. In addition, it affects co-ordination, causing accidents, and can decrease a dog’s respiratory rate. Even small amounts of alcohol can kill a dog.
Owning a dog can be extremely rewarding. Whenever you educate yourself on dogs, this can be even more enriching. Thanks to the knowledge found here, you should be more informed on dogs. Apply these tips to have a great relationship with your dog.
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