In North America, 25 to 30% of the canine population is obese. As with human beings, obesity is associated with the decrease of the life span, diabetes, hypothyroidism, osteoarthritis, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, decreased mobility, difficulty in breathing and increased risk of cancer. It results in frequent visits to the vet and lower quality of life. Then, it’s very important to pay attention to your pet’s weight, acting in a preventive way.
In general, most weight problems tend to have a slow development. Frequently, it happens when the pet transitions to the adult life and in the senior years, when activity levels reduce. During winter time, some pets can also experiment weigh gain, as a result of less outdoor activity. If your pet has been neutered / spayed, he will have less energy needs after the surgery and the amount of food must decrease.
In general, a good goal for dog weight loss is 0.5-2.0% of his body weight per week. A weight loss of 2% or more per week can cause more harm than good.
There are several ways to lose weigh. The golden rule is to decrease caloric intake and increase exercise. You can go for a leash walk with your dog – both will benefit! – or take him to a doggy day care, so that he can have a combination of fun, playtime and exercise. Another way to introduce or increase exercise is giving your dog a treat ball that dispenses treats only if your dog rolls it around. This will keep him busy and help losing weight in a fun way. It’s also important to pay attention on food’s portion size, feeding times, treat amount and frequency. And, of course, the quality of the dog food you giving.
So, in the process of losing weight, it’s important to find good quality food, rich in protein and low in carbohydrates / fat, as protein and fiber stimulate metabolism and increase satiety. You can give vegetables or green beans as an alternative to treats and avoid homemade food, as it often lacks daily vitamins and minerals. Look also for formulas intended to lose weight and its maintenance.
Remember that any changes in your dog’s diet needs to be made gradually, so that to avoid gastrointestinal problems. From time to time, check your furry friend’s weigh to make sure that he’s in the right track. Try also to monitor your behavior, so that not to start giving too much food and treats, as your dog can gain weight back! Hollywood Houndz can help you find a diet formula that suits your needs!