We all know the expression Eat Less & Move More
But did you know the same applies for you pooch?
Figures now suggest that over 50% of dogs are overweight. That is one in two of every dog you see could be overweight. It has been shown that an overweight dog will significantly increase the chance of illness in the future and reduce lifespan. Apart form muscular issues such as arthritis and back problems there is a higher risk of cancer, kidney and liver problems. It can also exacerbate breathing problems particularly in flat faced breeds.
So how do we make sure our dog is a healthy weight?
1. Make sure you are feeding the correct amount. Each food is different so don’t expect to feed the same amount. Check the packaging carefully and use this as a guide only.
2. Regularly weigh your dog so you can calculate the amount to feed and monitor this closely.
3. Choose the right food. Some foods are high in fat, some are majority carbohydrate and therefore not the most appropriate. Choose a high protein quality food.
4. Cut out any human food and minimise the number of treats.
5. Regular exercise will keep your dog trim and provide mental stimulation.
If your dog is overweight there are a number of things you can do.
1. Weigh your dog and research the average weight for your dog breed.
2. Choose a high protein low fat food – a great choice is a raw complete food which has no fillers or additives/preservatives.
3. Check your food packaging and calculate the amount of food to feed based upon the average breed weight and then reduce by 20%.
4. Slowly increase your dog’s exercise to burn off more calories.
5. Cut out all treats and human food.
Monitor your dog’s weight carefully and when you reach the ideal weight you can slightly increase the amount of food to the recommended level. Remember that food packaging only provides a guide and each dog is different so keep a close eye on your dog’s general health and wellbeing.
Successful weight management will result in a longer lifespan, a happier, better behaved dog and fewer visits to the vet.