Help your dog lose weight
Dogs, just like people, can easily gain extra weight. And extra weight will have detrimental effects on their overall health.
To avoid the trap of constantly gaining and losing weight, the best thing you can do for your dog is to have him fit and healthy in the first place.
Maintaining good health is always much easier than rollercoaster dieting. So how do you, the dog owner, do that?
Having your dog in tip top shape includes a number of things, but none of them take a lot of time or cost a lot of money. It’s simply being aware of health issues, and doing the things dogs love to do anyway.
Make certain that the food you’re giving your dog is the best for him. Many kinds of dog food companies already help you by labeling their products for the age of your dog.
You certainly won’t need to feed your puppy dog food that is tailored to the needs of a senior dog. Nor will you want to give your mature dog the food designed for a puppy’s nutritional needs. Nutritional needs will also be different for a pregnant or nursing dog as well.
No one dog food can meet the needs of every dog, everywhere just as no one food can meet the needs of every person. So it’s vital to consider your dog’s food, especially when your dog is overweight and needs particular nutritional needs.
Numerous studies have shown that needs vary even within breeds. Bassett Hounds and Poodles have different energy levels; Labrador Retrievers produce skin oil while Collies do not. Some dogs shed hair, and some do not.
Each of these breeds and situations require different nutritional needs, just as overweight dogs do. It’s not just the amount of food you’re feeding your dog that needs your attention, it is the nutritional value found in that food as well.
Increase your dog’s exercise
Most people who lose weight also incorporate some type of exercise. The same holds true for your dog.
The type and amount of exercise varies with the type and size of your dog, too. Larger dogs need more running space or longer walks to exercise their larger muscles, while smaller “house” dogs require less. Regardless of the breed of dog you have, they all require exercise as a means of staying healthy.
Throwing a ball and playing fetch, running in a park or back yard, playing hide and seek, or even a game of tug of war are all ways to work the muscles of your dog. If you don’t have the space to let them run without a leash, then take them for walks. Both of you will need the exercise and fresh air it affords.
Also, keep in mind the needs of your breed of dog. If you have a dog that loves the water, then give him the opportunity to romp in it. Even a child’s plastic swimming pool will keep your dog busy for hours splashing and playing. If you don’t have that much room, then find an old bucket or ice cream pail with a floating ball or toy in it. Even that will encourage them to play. Your dog will love you for it and you’ll thoroughly enjoy the laughs you get watching him.
A dog is like a child. He will absolutely love the notion of play. If your dog is not overweight yet, but he’s been hanging around the dog dish a little too much, or lying under the table waiting for the scraps, he’s already developing habits that will begin him on a path to becoming overweight.
So, play with him. Not only will his physical well-being be nourished, but his attitude and state of mind will also be affected. What playing dog isn’t a happy dog?
If your dog is already overweight, all the more reason to get him busy. If he’s playing or walking, he’s burning calories. If he’s lying around most of the time, he will easily become bored and spend more time eating. It’s just that simple.
Walking the overweight dog
For an already overweight dog, it may be more difficult for him to take those long walks because he’s got more weight to carry and his physical stamina just isn’t use to the demand yet. So, start slow.
Take shorter walks but take them more frequently. Let him stop and rest periodically. In just a few weeks you’ll find he’s running ahead of you instead of lagging behind with his tongue dragging on the ground. When you return home, make sure he has plenty of water to help wash away all those fat cells he just wore off.
Make certain that you also allow for the weather. On hot summer days, take a bottle of water with you. Just as you need to keep your water intake up, so does your dog. Unlike humans, dogs don’t have the ability to sweat, so their only means of cooling themselves is to pant and be drinking water on a continuing basis. Remember, water washes away fat, too.
A happy dog is a healthy dog
Try to include some obedience training. It will help your dog get rid of the unnecessary pounds.
It may sound surprising. But when you consider the exercise it involves, the mental and intellectual attention it demands, and the energy it requires on their part, you will find that it is a wonderful way to help your dog slim down.
Not only is it healthy for their physical well-being, but it will also help to increase structure in their daily routine. They’ll look forward to the undivided attention.
When a dog is obedient, he isn’t constantly being corrected. So he learns what behavior is acceptable and what is not. A dog wants nothing more than to please his owner. So when he learns what’s expected of him, his disposition will improve. Consequently, when his owner is happier, he generally will be, too. It’s a win-win situation for both you and your dog, and that team effort far outweighs any pounds that need to be lost.