As humans, it’s quite natural for us to pay close attention to our health and weight.
It’s in magazines and on television so often that it’s practically ingrained in our brains. What’s not more prevalent is the same amount of attention paid to our furry family members. Sure, we may have seen a commercial or two about specific dog brands catering towards their weight maintenance, but still – that’s not enough. When people decide to buy a dog, their weight may not be on the top of their priority list, like house training for example. With that said, we want to give you 5 tips to prevent obesity in your dog, so that he can live a long and healthy life!
Familiarize yourself with your dog’s ideal weight.
Here’s an interesting and commonly unknown fact. Most owners will buy a dog and not have a clue as to what their ideal weight should be. This is the easiest tip and the first step in monitoring and staying on top of your pup’s healthy. This is so important to know, because it will help you make the best dietary decisions when feeding your dog.
Exercise, exercise, and exercise!
Ah, exercise…it’s a word many dread and some actually love! No matter what emotion it evokes, the reality is that it’s necessary for both humans and dogs. There’s just no getting around it! When you buy a dog, make the commitment to exercise her, especially once you’ve mastered #1, the aforementioned tip. Depending on your dog, a daily stroll may be all that’s required. If you buy a dog of a larger breed, it kind of goes without saying that a stroll won’t cut it. Take your dog to a park and let him run about or if you’re a bike rider or jogger, take him along with you. This is beneficial for both you and your dog!
Stay abreast with your vet.
If you’ve noticed that your dog has put on a few extra pounds, contact your vet. Your veterinarian is the best place to start. They can give you a meal plan, yes we said meal plan! A recommended goal weight and professional plan of action is suggested, as opposed to you going at it alone. Keep in mind that an overweight dog can truly experience discomfort in their joints and they are prone to additional injuries. Your veterinarian can also help you rule out other ailments that can cause obesity, such as hypothyroidism.
Make dietary changes, if needed.
First and foremost, try hard to avoid feeding your dog table scraps and human food, in general. When you buy a dog, you can also buy treats for him, but opt for low fat, low caloric, and healthy ones. They exist, trust us! Stick to a feeding schedule rather than a free-for-all. Treat treats just as that – treats! If your dog seems to be grazing and appears hungry, try giving her fresh veggies, as they’re an excellent source of fiber and can be filling. Based on the advice and consultation with your vet, it may not be necessary to change your pet’s food, but rather the quantity.
Continuously monitor your pup’s weight.
Check your pup’s weight regularly, just as you would do for yourself. It’s imperative to know if your efforts of weight loss or maintenance are paying off, just as you desired. If weight loss is your goal, they should be losing approximately 1 lb. a month. Again, stay in contact with your vet regularly to ensure the laid out plan is working.
We recognize that when you buy a dog, there will be some areas that are forgotten or that you may not have known about, but we’re hopeful that these tips will be helpful. Keep in mind, you control what and when your dog eats. Maintaining a healthy weight is essential to maintaining a long and healthy life. You can do it!