If your dog is becoming overweight, the question you should be asking is, “how can I help my dog lose weight?”.
You should be asking this right now because obese dogs are prone to different illnesses, including diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis, etc. Therefore, you need to work on getting your dog trim as soon as possible.
Moreover, obese dogs have a shorter life span, about 2.5 years lesser than healthy dogs. 2.5 years may seem small to humans, but it’s a significant portion of a dog’s life that will be lost simply because it is overweight.
According to wikiHow, your dog is overweight if it weighs 10 – 20% more than his ideal body weight. Anything above 20% means that your dog is obese.
The good news is that obesity is one of the most preventable dog diseases. So, before it gets to that, here’s how to make your dog lose weight;
Table of Contents
1. Know Your Dog’s Actual Weight
The first step is for you to know your dog’s weight. Each dog breed has an average ideal weight for different stages – young and adult. Your dog appearing fat might be due to its breed. Therefore, before proceeding to reduce your dog’s weight, first of all, know its correct weight and then compare it with the recommended weight for his breed at his age.
You can do this at home using a scale. Getting your dog to stand steady can be difficult, so, first of all, get your weight and then carry your dog and re-measure. Subtract your weight from the weight derived when you carried your pet, and you get his correct weight. You can also use a pet scale.
2. Feed Your Dog Fewer Treats
Most times, dogs do not get overweight or obese by just the food they eat. Treats are a major contributing factor as a majority of them are filled with calories. So if you want to help your dog lose weight, you should give him fewer treats.
If you must feed your pet treats, you should go for healthy treats or lean treats with fewer calories. Some natural healthy treats to also consider are green beans, carrot, apple, and celery treats.
If healthy treats are not available and you wish to reward him with regular treats maybe as a result of some action he has taken, try using items like treat guns or treat launchers that send the lean treats far away for your dog to run after them, that way he gets to do some exercise before eating the treat.
It would help if you also calculated the calorie contained in the treats to meet the daily calorie dosage from your weight loss feeding plan.
3. Exercise Your Dog More
Exercise helps humans to lose weight and stay fit, and it isn’t different for dogs. Too many calories contribute to weight gain, and when your dog exercises, he burns calories and, in turn, sheds the problematic fat you are trying to get rid of.
For serious obese cases, you will need a professional exercise routine that your vet can help you with. Depending on your dog breed, there are some exercises he won’t do naturally, which is another reason to involve your vet.
Walking is a simple exercise all dogs can engage in, and it is very effective. Other games, like hide & seek, fetch games, etc., are also ideal. There are also interactive toys to help your pet get more exercise. The aim is to keep your dog as active as possible.
4. Use A Customized Weight Reduction Plan For Dogs From A Vet
Vets can come up with a weight reduction plan for dogs. This customized weight reduction plan would be very specific to your dog breed and age. It will be tailored mainly to the type of food your dog eats. It would be best to decide on vital changes like a weight loss plan with a vet to avoid depriving your pet of necessary body nutrients.
While your vet does his part, it’s your responsibility to stick with the plan. Give the correct serving of food and feed only the number of times as specified in the plan. You may need to purchase measuring spoons and scales to ensure you get the right measurement for every item.
However, when it comes to weight loss, it usually involves taking in fewer calories and, in some cases, taking more fiber. If your overweight dog must take carbohydrates and other foods high in calories, it should be in small portions.
5. Consider Weight Loss Drugs For Dogs
Weight loss drugs should only be used in severe cases. Ideally, when your dog doesn’t lose weight via diet change and exercising, should you consider giving him weight loss drugs for dogs. Whatever drug you decide to give to your pet should be administered by your vet.
What these drugs do is that they reduce your dogs’ appetite. Your dog will feel hungry less and, in turn, eat less. They are some products that have some side effects on rare occasions like diarrhea and vomiting, which is why they should be your last option.
Not all dogs are recommended to take weight-loss drugs, especially those with underlying conditions and on other medications. You may wish to consider supplements instead.
6. Track Results
As you take your dog on a weight loss journey, you should track results to know if you are making progress or not. Keep a journal and measure your dogs’ weight every other day and note the differences, no matter how small.
Also, please keep track of what you feed him, how many times he exercises, etc. That way, you’ll know what’s working and what’s not.
If you need more information on ways to make your dog lose weight, watch the video below.
I believe the tips above answer the question, “How can I help my dog lose weight.” Basically, you have to be disciplined around your pet with meals and treats. You need to take your pet out for walks and runs more as it will help you be healthy and also make your dog lose weight.
Also, consider having more playtime with your dog as it will be fun for both of you. Giving fewer calories and fewer treats will also help. Drugs should only be used in severe cases.
Finally, find time to work with your vet on an effective and safe weight loss plan that won’t deter your pets’ health. Please share this post on making your dog lose weight if you found this useful.