Does Your Dog Need to Lose Weight in 2015?

by DFS-Pet-Blog on January 6, 2015

The notorious New Year’s resolution. Year after year, the number one resolution is to trim the waistline. But have you considered your pet’s calorie intake? New data just released from the Veterinary Pet Insurance Company shows that pet obesity is on the rise for the fourth straight year. Studies have shown that a quarter to a third of all American pets could stand to lose weight.

Think back a few weeks when you had too many Christmas goodies and you felt a little sluggish. Just like you, it’s a lot more work for your dog to carry around extra weight!

The health risks to overweight dogs are serious and every dog owner should be aware of them, including joint damage and heart disease. Click here for a list of the more common consequences of obesity in dogs.

Let’s take a look at how you can help your dog manage his weight in 2015. 

Deke-Snow-2014-BlogWork it off: I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but exercise, exercise, exercise! Add some regular exercise into your pet’s day, such as daily walks to help combat excess weight. Plus, walks are a great way to help you kick your healthy habits into high gear this year. And walks can increase the bond with your pet.

See how much daily activity your dog gets and set goals for him with this new StarWalk Activity Tracker for Dogs from Dogtra.

Living in northern Wisconsin where temps can dip to a balmy -20, can make it difficult to take my dogs for a walk or play catch outside. Instead, we find ways to play inside, whether that’s a more controlled version of fetch (that doesn’t break lamps), or just chasing each other around in our unfinished basement.

You’d be surprised how quickly a romp around a 12-by-12 room can tire you — and your pup! — out. I’m fortunate though because our Lab loves the snow all the snow we get!

Treats with a purpose: Give treats sparingly. While it’s important to reward your dog’s good behavior and help train new puppies, too many treats could be potentially detrimental if your dog isn’t getting enough of his or her necessary nutrients from regular food.

As a general rule, treats should constitute no more than 10 percent of your dog’s diet.

Give treats with a purpose to ensure your canine companion doesn’t pack on the pounds. Try low-fat, naturally nutritious All-Natural Biscuits and vitamin- and mineral-containing Healthy Edibles bones, which offer all the flavor and appeal of other treats that might not be conducive to weight loss.

Feed with care: Another simple suggestion is to give your dog less food — and lower calorie food. You can decrease the amount you feed by about 10 percent and decrease by 10 percent increments if your dog is not losing weight. If you choose to go the lower calorie diet route be sure it’s still a high-quality food, since your pet will not be getting as many calories.

Don’t forget the vet: And as always, regular wellness visits to your veterinarian are a must to ensure your dog leads a healthy and happy life.

Raise your paw to a healthy New Year!

TELL US MORE!

How do you help your dog stay fit and trim? Post a comment below to share your tips and tricks for keeping your pooch healthy in 2015.


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Betty Haynes January 7, 2015 at 12:57 pm

I am trying to find treats for my 4 dogs that are safe for them to eat. Treats that would not make them sick or die. Could you recommend brands that I can buy? I have 3 Shih Tzu and 1 Papillon. Treats that do not have Propylene Glycol in them that I just learned is like anti freeze. Thank You, Betty Haynes

Briana Jones January 7, 2015 at 1:21 pm
Betty Haynes January 7, 2015 at 1:46 pm

Thank you very much. I will be sure to look in the DrsFosterandSmith catalog to find them.
Betty Haynes

Pet Parent March 6, 2015 at 9:39 am

Thanks for the advice. We’re going to try and get Bandit down to a healthy size this year!

Dave Reyburn May 26, 2015 at 5:28 pm

Hello,

Great article- sorry I just found it but thank you for mentioning the link between obesity and joint damage in dogs, as well the need to make sure our pets get enough exercise and stick to a healthy diet.

Along with diet and exercise, proper joint care is a critical part of maintaining a high quality of life for our “pet kids.”

Like us, dogs who are experiencing stiffness and pain are not as eager to exercise as they otherwise might be– it’s just more fun to chase balls or jump for treats when they’re not feeling sore.

Thanks again for your thought on dog health and exercise– timely in any season!

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