Helping Your Dog Drop Pounds
With the holidays quickly approaching you may be wondering how to help your beloved pet have a fabulous holiday while keeping off the excess weight. Helping your dog drop pounds is actually much simpler than many people think. You may even find you and your pet will strengthen your bond and have fun together while taking the steps necessary to loss a little excess weight. If you follow a few of these easy tricks both you and your pet will feel happier and healthier.
Diet is the first half of a healthy lifestyle for your pet. If your pet needs to lose a few pounds the first step is to find out how much they should be eating every day. Often pets are overweight because they are simply consuming too many calories every day, just like people.
When you are trying to change your dog's diet, you should first evaluate the quality of the food you are feeding your dog. A good dog food will be high in protein and high in fiber. The protein and fiber should provide your pet with the nutrients, calories and protein your pet needs to stay healthy. Protein and fiber also have a lower caloric content than fatty foods. Your pet will also feel full with less food. Another dietary option is a light dog food. Just like light foods for people, light dog food has reduced the calories and fat in the food.
After you have decided on the best food option for your pet, you need to determine the right serving size. One of the most common causes of excess weight in dogs is overfeeding. You need to be aware that your pet probably doesn't need to take in as many calories as they do each day. This is especially important if your dog doesn't have consistent opportunities to exercise. Some dogs will only eat when they feel hungry and stop when they are full, but other dogs will eat until they make themselves sick. Pets that don't have the control to only eat what their body needs have to have a more strictly regulated diet. It is very important that you know how much your dog needs to eat each day to remain healthy.
Snacks and treats are also an issue for many over-weight pets. Dogs love to eat table scraps and get treats, and we love to give our pets treats. If your dog needs to lose some weight you will need to get creative with the treats you give your pet. Feeding your pet before you eat your dinner may help keep your dog from begging at the table. You want to try not to feed your dog table scraps when you are working on helping them drop pounds. Buy smaller treats like the small dog biscuits. Your dog doesn't need a whole large biscuit when they get a treat. If you have a whole box of big biscuits when you decide to start making these lifestyle changes for you and your pet, you can break all of these biscuits into smaller pieces.
If reducing the size of the biscuits you feed your pet doesn't work, you will need to completely change the type of treats you feed your pet. The easiest way to change your treats is to offer carrots in place of biscuits. Dogs enjoy carrots just like people do; they have a nice flavor and they are quite filling. Simple dietary changes like these are a significant part of helping your dog to lose weight.
Dietary changes are only the first step in a long-term plan to help your dog loose weight. Exercise is also an essential step in any sustainable and healthy weight loss plan. Before starting any exercise plan you need to assess your pet's and your ability to embark on your new exercise regime. If you and your pet are unused to exercise you should start with an easy plan. Take your dog for a walk everyday. Start with something doable. You want to get a work out, but you do not want to hurt yourself or your pet. Once you and your pet become fit you can try more ambitious exercise routines. If you don't have time to take your dog for a walk or jog everyday there are alternatives you can consider. Dog-walkers are one option for people who can spare the expense. You can also invest in a doggy treadmill.
Helping your dog drop a few pounds is easier than you think. It will be a long-term commitment, just like any lifestyle change. Take some time to learn about the food you are feeding your pet. Is it a healthy food? Does it have plenty of protein and fiber? If you discover that the food you feed your dog isn't as good as you would like, take the time to find the right food. Control yourself when you give out treats. Your pet loves to get treats and you love to give them, but keep in mind that too many treats can be harmful to the health of your pet. Finally, start exercising your pet if they don't already get exercise. Create a routine for your dog and for yourself so you can help your pet to lose weight and lead a healthier, happier lifestyle.