So you’ve noticed your dog’s harness is a little tighter around her mid-section and when she lands on her feet from jumping out of the car it’s now a loud “THUD” as opposed to the softer “THUMP” from last year. Your dog might be getting chubby. Some dogs are naturally heftier than others and some dogs tend to be chubby or chunky but it’s important to make sure that your dog’s weight stays within the recommended range for its breed and as suggested by your vet.
Dogs who stay trim are at less risk for diabetes, joint pain, and heart disease. A dog that is kept at its ideal weight also has an easier time breathing, more stamina, and can live longer.
Here’s a few tips to keep your dog slim:
- No more table scraps! Resist the sad puppy dog eyes. RESIST!
- Is someone else slipping the family pup treats? Get the whole family on board when it comes to the care and well-being of your pets.
- Limit treats as they tend to have higher fat content than regular dog food.
- Switch to a food that is lower in fat content and has less fillers. Higher quality food or cooking for your dog often have less fat and better levels of protein and other nutrients.
- Exercise! Longer walks, more often, and making time for more playtimes burns those calories. If the weather is bad, look for indoor dog parks near you. Ease your dog into this slowly as heavy dog can become easily tuckered out and injured.
- Enroll in doggie daycare or hire a dog walker if your schedule is tight right now. Your dog will get some exercise, TLC, and be tired. A tired dog is often times a more well-behaved dog.
Making time to do these things may be tough but you’ll enjoy the benefits too as it’ll help decrease your own blood pressure, moods, and you may shed a few pounds too. Exercise reduces stress, pets reduce stress, and it’s always good for the heart to get some movement. Don’t expect results overnight, it often takes a few months to a year to notice a difference in weight and energy levels in dogs who are on diet and exercise plans. If your dog is older or has any health concerns, talk to your vet before implementing any new routines into your dog’s life.
If you have any stories to share of your pet and the battle of the bulge, let us know!
Image from Christina M Bove