There are many reasons a dog can become overweight, for example illness or injury, neutering or unsuitable diet/insufficient exercise. Obesity seriously increases the chance of heart problems, diabetes, breathing difficulties and arthritis.
Once your pet is overweight it becomes a vicious circle – their activity level decreases, making it harder to lose the pounds. It’s easy to find yourself in this situation, as living with your pet – seeing them everyday means that small weight gains can go unnoticed.
If you think your dog is overweight there are a couple of ways to check. Look at your pet from the side – their belly should be tucked up, also if you feel their ribs you should be able to do so without feeling a covering of excess fat. Consult your vet if you are unsure. If you do find your pet is carrying extra weight, this can be easily remedied.
Treatment should first entail finding out your pet’s ideal weight, which can be done by contacting your vet – a useful chart by Royal Canin produced for Pets at Home is also available here. After establishing your dog’s optimuml weight, weigh your dog and keep a record. Cut back on the quantity at meal times – no extra tit bits and if your dog is still hungry, then bulk out the meal with vegetables.
Increase their exercise – if they are very heavy, increase the amount of walks but with less time so as not to put too much pressure on their joints. If possible get them swimming, as this is a great way to exercice without stressing joints.
Carry out regular weigh-in’s to keep a close watch on diet and ensure a slow, steady loss. Food intake can be monitored and adjusted accordingly to keep you on track, which will improve the quality of life for both you and your pet – helping them to be the best they can.
If you require any help then please do not hesitate to contact me.