The chubby family pooch is a common site nowadays. Some dogs are so overweight they waddle instead of walk. The extra pounds put stress on their hearts, kidneys, livers and joints. It also makes them more susceptible to diseases from diabetes to cancer. Losing weight in dogs follows the same simple formula that works for human beings, and that is to eat less and be more active.
Prescription dog foods from veterinarians may be necessary in some cases of canine obesity. A visit to the vet to rule out a medical condition leading to weight gain may be advised. In most cases it is just overeating and sedentary living. Changing to a lower calorie dog food usually only allows feeding the same amounts with the dog receiving less calories. Opting to use low calorie filler foods such as green beans to help them feel more full with less of their regular food may help.
Every calorie burned by increased activity is a calorie not turned into fat. Plus, activity begins to build muscle, and muscle burns more calories than fat, even at rest. Severe obesity should be evaluated by a veterinarian to determine what level of exercise is safe. Never overdo it. An overweight dog is going to be more susceptible to heat and overexertion. Slow walks for safe distances are the way to get started. Just like it takes time for overweight people to build up strength and stamina, it is the same for dogs.
Innovative Activities for Those With Overweight Dogs
Feeding less is the key to dropping the pounds. And this is especially true when dogs may not be able to exercise as vigorously. This may be due to disability of the dog or owner or lack of space. If lack of space is a problem, even a 20 minute game of short distance fetch in the house or apartment is better than nothing. Are there stairs in the house that the dog regularly uses? Encourage more repeated trips up and down the stairs. Remember, do not over do it. Dogs will keep on going until they drop, just to please their owners.
No matter how you achieve it, the formula for weight loss in dogs is simple. Cut calories and increase activity. The ratios might change from time to time, but the formula remains the same. People and pets need to take in less calories than what they burn, or they need to burn more calories than they take in to lose weight.