I know you love your dog but if you are feeding him or her too many treats or table scraps you may cause your dog to become overweight. You should stop the scraps right away, the spices in the food could upset their tummies and certain foods are not good to give dogs even in little doses. If you live alone this should be easy but if you have a family and they are all giving the dog extra food it’s no wonder there is an issue. It really adds up. Talk with your family and let them know the risks of an overweight pet.
Does this mean you shouldn’t give your dog treats of course not; you may still want to give your dog treats just not as many as before. Determine that your dog will get x amount of treats per day or week, and work out a schedule for the family if necessary. You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and you don’t want an overweight dog either.
If you are not feeding your dog off the table or lots of treats then you could be giving your dog too much dog food. Read the label carefully and see how much and how many times a day you should be feeding your dog. Additionally to make sure your dog is getting the proper amount of food ask your veterinarian. The nutrition labels are for dogs in general and not breed specific and a slight tweak maybe all you need to maintain the correct weight.
How much food to give an overweight dog?
Talk with your vet and work out a plan of action you will likely have to reduce your dog’s food a certain percentage for a few weeks and then go back to the vet for a follow up visit and a reevaluation. When you speak to the vet make sure ask about including the dog treats in the new feeding plan if it is important to your family.
If your pet is just a little overweight then it shouldn’t take too long to fix the problem.
If the reduction in food isn’t working and you have given it your best your veterinarian may change your pet food to diet dog food. While there are many good brands on the market such as Canidae Dry Dog Food for Senior and Overweight Dogs or Natural Balance Dry Dog Food, Reduced Calorie Formula
your vet will recommend one based on your dog’s age, weight and general health. A good idea is to switch slowly by adding a little diet dog food to regular food then gradually adding more diet and less regular.
What to do if your dog begs?
You probably have the cutest dog in the whole world and he or she knows exactly to look even cuter when they want food. You must resist, as hard as you can unless of course the treat is in the plan. Instead of giving in to the begging put the treat in the food bowl this way you show the dog you are in charge of when he gets a treat not the other way around.
Exercise your pet
Again as with people dogs need exercise and some breeds more than others, if you are unable to walk your dog have a family member do it. If no family is able then find a neighborhood teen or a friend that you trust and pay them if you have to. If it’s a friend you can always trade, they walk your dog you watch their kids.
We tend to feed the ones we love and there’s no doubt you love your pet, but too many treats are the equivalent of cookies, cakes, or ice cream which are not so good in abundance.
The best plan of action is of course to start feeding the correct amount when they are young and each time you go to the vet make sure your dog is on the right track. If you’re taking them to the vet regularly then your dog shouldn’t ever get too far off track. But we know that isn’t always the case, start where you are and help your dog to lose weight and a safe and steady pace.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeremy_vandel/147255562/