A little extra paunch on your pooch is not really a big deal. In fact, as your dog gets older the chances of it gaining weight around the middle is almost inevitable. Yet, there is a fine line between a little extra padding and an obese dog.
Obesity is as big a problem in dogs as it is in humans. It leads to a whole host of other problems like heart disease, periodontal disease, diabetes, and much more. In this article, we will go over how to know if your dog is overweight or average. Also, what you can do to get your dog to lose weight.
Give him a checkup
Before you go out and change the dog food for one which will help him lose weight, you need to do some analysis to see if your dog is actually obese or not.
The most obvious thing to look for is the shape of your dog. Take a look at him from overhead and see what shape he is. If he bulges in the middle and is oval-shaped then chances are that he is overweight. An obese dog is going to store fat around the side of the belly causing the distinct shape when seen from above.
Then, look from the side. Does the belly sway when the dog is walking? This is a sign that they are overweight. Likewise, if there is some sagging on the bottom of the belly.
Lastly, feel for ribs and bones. When you can feel ribs without having to press too hard then they are likely at a healthy weight. When you have to really feel around then this is the final indicator that your dog needs to lose weight.
Have a weight loss plan
Once you have deduced that your dog is obese, it is time to put a weight loss plan into place. It should involve diet and exercise to make sure that they lose weight and also improve their health in other areas.
The first order of business is to go with the CICO system. Namely, Calories In, Calories Out. Make sure to determine the right amount of calories that need to eat per day to start losing weight. A rough guide is to consider that an average dog needs 25 calories per pound that they weigh to maintain their current weight. Drop that number down by a few calories per pound by weighing out their food and giving them less, or by going with a low calories formula.
Start out with more exercise for your dog. Going for a walk is a good way to control their activity. Walking normally for a dog will burn roughly 8 calories per pound that they weigh per mile walked. Walking 15 to 20 minutes per day is a good start.
Lastly, cut out the treats from their diet as it is adding unnecessary calories. If you need to give them treats as some kind of incentive, then go with low-calorie treats or something like yogurt that helps improve their gut health