Pets can look quite cute when they're carrying around extra weight. However, that doesn't mean this condition is good for their health. The reality is that dogs who are overweight face an increased risk of multiple health problems. And because more than half of all pets across the United States fall into the category of being overweight, it's an issue that deserves plenty of attention.
The Ideal Weight for Dogs
How much a dog should weigh will depend on its breed and size. While you can use a dog's ribs to gauge if it's overweight, underweight or about right, a more accurate way to assess your pet's weight is by discussing this issue with your vet. If your dog is currently overweight, a vet will be able to tell you exactly how much weight your pet should lose.
3 Ways to Help Your Dog Slim Down
Once you know the target weight for your dog, there are several different ways to help your pet reach it. The first is to take a long look at what you're feeding your dog, as well as how much you're feeding. Many big brand dog foods have a lot of fillers, additives and preservatives. Those ingredients can result in your dog consuming a lot of empty calories on a daily basis. They also take away from the overall nutritional value of food. If you discover that your dog's food falls into this category, it's time to look for a better option.
You'll also want to take time in gradually transitioning your dog from its old food to the new one. And once the transition is complete, be sure that you're feeding the right amount each day. Even high-quality food can cause a dog to gain weight if it's eating too much of it. The next way to help your dog slim down is by reducing treats. As with food, it's also a good idea to review the type of treats your dog gets and stick to ones that have some nutritional value.
Last but certainly not least is to help your dog be active on a daily basis. Some breeds may only require 20 to 30 minutes of activity a day to get in much better shape. The key is to be consistent! Since this is often a challenge for people with busy jobs, consider doggie daycare for your pet. When you bring your dog to us, you can count on your dog getting plenty of fun physical activity throughout the day!