You start to help your dog lose weight by doing some simple things. First you can check your dog’s BMI with this calculator. Also, be sure to check their daily calorie intake. Pet Frenzy explains a lot in our article Nutrition Information. Once you know how many calories a day your pet needs vs what you are giving them. You may be surprised that you may be overfeeding your little pooch. Another good calorie counter is from the Pet Nutrition Alliance.
Here are some helpful tools, links, and suggestions that may help you. As always I do suggest getting professional help from your vet or nutritionist before making any changes to your pet’s diet.
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Start A Food Diary For Your Dog
By keeping track of all the food your dog is consuming is a great place to start. You will want to make sure to include any human foods and treats. You can use a basic calorie counter for human foods with this calculator. Lets say you decide to give your dog a few bites of some cheese, you can add in those calories easily by entering them in your journal so you can make sure you’re not overfeeding them. Remember your dog needs you to do this for them.
Look Closely At Your Food Labels
Remember to always convert your wet food into dry calories. We explain how to do that in our other article. Once you know how many cups to give your dog a day. Look at the amount given to a dog under that weight. (Goal Weight) Start feeding your pet the amount for the size of the dog it should be. If you notice your dog acting extremely hungry than give them the recommended for that day only. This will assure your pet your not trying to starve them.
A good example is My dog weights 150lb but needs to be 130lbs. So I will feed my dog the recommended maintenance weight for130 pounds.
Keep Your Dog Active
Keeping your dog and yourself active is an important part of weight loss for your dog. You can read our article on keeping you and your dog active. Even an hour a day with your pet can increase bonding as well as health benefits. Remember dogs don’t burn many calories on a slow pace walk. So playing with them can help them with cardio much better depending on the overall shape and age of the dog.
You can invest in a Fit Bark Collar as well. Keep track of your dog’s activity levels. This can help the vet better decide on the dog’s nutritional needs. It may give you an idea of the fitness level your dog is at.
Consistency And Patience Play A Key Role
Try to keep a consistent routine of smaller meals throughout the day if you can. If not dividing it up into two meals a day works well too. Depending on your dog’s age will depend on how fast they will lose weight. A younger dog will definitely have much more success sooner than an older one that is less active. So have patience with the results. They will come. It can take up to 1 month for them to lose only 2 lbs and some may lose 2 lbs a week. I wouldn’t recommend any more than that or they will start to gorge on their food.
What If You Can Not Resist That Look
Remember they depend on you to help make the choices for them. Most dogs will be ok with some small cut up pieces the size of a dime. I had this guilt feeling every time I ate and my dog wanted some too. I just felt like I had to give her a bite. Instead now, when I make a sandwich or a snack. I will cut up some carrots or give her some blueberries while I am eating. This way I don’t feel bad. I mean you are trying to help your dog lose weight.
We are working on the begging. She only begs from me because I am the sucker that will give her a taste. I am changing that now. You can read about human foods that are low calorie and healthy for your pet.
I want to keep my dog around as long as I can so I need to make the better choices more than her. But I never want to love my dog to death. She depends on me to make sure she stays healthy. It is working like a charm for both of us. Reminding myself of that helps me make the right choices for her.
Remember if your pet is overweight or obese, it can cause arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, certain cancers, heart and respiratory disease, and other problems.
Reasons And How To Act Now!
- According to the Purina Lifespan Study, If your dog is overweight or obese, You’re taking two or more years of the dog’s life away.
- 22% of dog owners and 15% of cat owners said their pet’s weight was normal when it was actually overweight or obese
- Most people use a pet scoop for the food. However, a regular measuring cup is much more accurate.
- Pet Frenzy suggest you check if your pet is obese or overweight regularly. You should be able to easily feel your pet’s ribs without pressing on the pet and your pet’s stomach should be tucked in.
- Check your dog’s body conditioning score.
- If Training your dog. Try using a low calorie treat such as Charlie Bears. They are only 3 calories a treat. You can buy them in pet stores usually much cheaper than the link I provided.
- If you are decreasing your pet’s food over a long period of time. Make sure you check with your vet to add in any supplements or vitamins your dog may need. Long periods of this can cause malnutrition. So do always get the advice needed from your own vet when putting your dog on a diet.
- They depend on you to help them live long healthy lives.