For some dogs, obesity can quickly become an issue. And yes, that falls on you, dog owner! The good news is there are steps you can take to minimize the risk of obesity in your dog. The key is to stick to those steps.
In many cases, owners will feed their dog more in response to begging, which dogs are incredibly good at, or to keep their dog from begging in the first place. A grain-free, natural diet can help. It also helps to get active, as many dogs end up eating too much out of a sense of boredom, much like people.
It’s certainly an issue. Almost 56% of dogs in the United States are classified as overweight or obese, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. The following tips can keep your dog out of that 56%.
Know Your Dog’s Needs
Do your own research and consult with a vet about the feeding habits and caloric needs of your dog’s breed. Certain breeds tend to have more issues with obesity, according to the American Kennel Club. They include certain terrier breeds (Cairn, West Highland White and Scottish) as well as Shetland Sheepdogs, Basset Hounds, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Dachshunds, Beagles, Cocker Spaniels and Labrador Retrievers. Also, spayed or neutered dogs tend to gain weight faster.
Stick to Schedule - No Free Feeding!
Eating between meals is just as bad for your dog as it is for you. If you stick to your raw dog food feeding schedule, you can provide your dog what they need and avoid overeating - no matter how much they might beg! You know better than your dog what is best for them in terms of their health.
Make Time For Play Time
Much like kids, dogs love to play. They also love, love, love to get your attention. If you make time every day to play with your dog, you’ll get them (and you) moving each day, which leads to better health. Simply chasing them around the backyard is a lot of fun and great for both of you.
Make That Walk Vigorous
Speaking of getting active, a daily walk is a great way to get exercise for both you and your four-legged companion. However, a stroll with plenty of stops to sniff everything is not going to do the trick. Make at least part of your walk a vigorous one, with even a bit of jogging if you want to truly burn some calories.
Cut Back on Treats
Oh, the allure of doggie treats! Much like putting the kids in front of the television, giving your dog a tasty, fatty treat will keep them happily occupied for a long time. It will also lead to weight problems. It’s far wiser, and better for your dog, to give them treats made from natural food rather than calorie-rich snacks.
Try A Natural Diet
Rather than depend on kibble, which can lead to bloat, try a raw dog food diet that includes ingredients dogs are meant to eat. That means nutrient-dense fresh meat that doesn’t include any processed food. Making the switch can lead to lifelong health.
Following these tips can help your dog live a longer, more active life. It’s sometimes hard to stick to the plan - especially when the begging starts! But staying disciplined with a schedule, eating natural foods and making time for play and exercise are ways to show your dog devotion and love.