Did you know that approximately 25 to 30% of the canine population is overweight? Among these, 40 to 45% of the dogs belong to the age group of 5 to 11 years. It goes without saying that obesity is one of the major health issues in dogs. It can lead to arthritis, tearing of the ACL, tumors, skin diseases, heart disease, and much more.
Unfortunately, many pet parents fail to observe that their beloved friend is gaining weight. Moreover, it becomes challenging to reduce the weight in the later stages.
To avoid making this mistake on your part, you must learn about the signs of obesity in dogs and take proper measures to keep them stay fit and healthy.
Symptoms Of Obesity
Some of the common symptoms that you shouldn’t miss out on are:
- Weight Gain
- Difficulty Breathing
- No Or Little Visible Waistline
- Excess Body Fat
- No Palpable Rib Cage
- Lack Of Mobility
- Distended Abdomen
- Lack Of Grooming
Besides these, taking your pets to the veterinarian regularly can also help you keep a check over their weight. Once you are sure that your fur buddy is gaining weight, you must understand the cause of obesity.
Cause Of Obesity
The 6 leading factors behind weight gain are:
- Poor Quality Of Diet.
- Higher Number Of Calories Consumed.
- Underlying Illness Or Disease
- Lack Of Exercise
- Breed Predisposition
Understanding the causes will help you take proper measures to help your buddy become fit and healthy.
Steps To Tackle Obesity
You must take immediate actions to help your dog’s weight loss. In fact, even if your dog is not overweight, you can still use the following measures to help them stay fit.
- Exercise Often
First of all, you need to motivate your dogs to not feel lazy. An easy way to do this is by playing games with them. However, make sure the games are a bit challenging yet fun.
For instance, you can play fetch, climb stairs, hide and seek, swimming, etc. All these activities will make them run, jump and move, which will help in burning calories. In fact, you can even try “Doga.” It will be a great way to improve your health in disguise for your pet’s workout.
Make sure to exercise for 10 to 15 minutes twice a day.
- Reduce Portion Size
As your dog is overweight, a normal portion of a regular meal can result in weight gain. Therefore, you must reduce their portion size to help them lose weight. Nonetheless, reducing the portion size suddenly can cause behavioral problems. They might not feel satisfied, thus can also indulge in the activities of counter surfing.
To avoid such a scenario, you should reduce the portion size slowly and steadily. That means cut down a small amount of food each day till you reach an appropriate portion size. You can also take help from your veterinarian with this.
They can help you plan a proper diet plan filled with nutritious food such as Complete Frozen Raw Dog Food, fruits, and veggies. In fact, raw dog food is, in general, great for your pup. It helps in improving their dental health, makes their coat shinner, and provides all the essential nutrients to their body.
So, you should ask your veterinarian to include it in your dog’s diet plan.
- Say No To Treats
Dogs LOVE treats; they are delicious and are also a reward for their efforts. However, they are also high in calories. Yes, you read it right! That’s why you should cut down on their every treat.
Or, if it is challenging for you, try replacing your current treats with low-calorie ones. If you want to give them healthy treats, provide them with a carrot, green beans, and rice cake. These are delicious but low in calories. So, your furry friends will enjoy their treats while being able to keep their weight under control.
To reduce the number of treats, begin with giving them half of what you usually offer. After a while, reduce the number furthermore.
- Feed Them After Regular Intervals
Many pet parents make the mistake of feeding large meals but after a huge time interval. Well, this is not the right approach. Instead, you should feed your pup multiple times a day but in small quantities. It will help in keeping their sugar level steadier for the whole day. That means their body will store fewer calories.
Plus, feeding after regular intervals ensures that they stay full and hydrated, which is essential for their health.
Note: Do not starve your canines in order to reduce their weight. It will harm their body. Instead, feed them often in small quantities.
- Do Not Leave The Dog Food Out
Not every pet knows how much they should eat and when. Therefore, rather than leaving the dog food out all day, you should feed them at a specific time. After 15 to 20 minutes, you can remove the leftovers from their bowl.
But make sure their water bowl is filled throughout the day. It will ensure that they stay hydrated.
Tip: To ensure that your little buddy eats well, you must select the right type of food. Do not simply buy the “over-the-counter” food for them. Instead, take your pet for a regular check-up to ensure no underlying illness behind the weight gain. After that, take their advice or recommendation for the best dog food. They can also create a plan which includes what to feed, when to feed and how much to feed. Make sure to follow their instructions.
- Keep Them Out Of The Kitchen
Last but not least, restrict the entry of your dog in the kitchen, especially while cooking. The fragrance and fallen food on the floor can be tempting for them. This can result in an increase in their weight. So, make sure to keep them in a different room while you prepare your food.
In a nutshell!
Keep in mind the golden rule of health in canine, i.e., a balance between food and exercise. So, pamper your furry friends with their favorite raw food, but keep the quantity in mind. Also, make sure to take them out for a walk and play some games.