Weight loss is difficult for everyone, either four or two-legged! However, getting in shape and losing weight can add years to your dog's life and make those extra years more enjoyable.
If your dog is above ideal body weight, which can put your dog at risk of developing some severe medical conditions. Some of the common conditions associated with excess weight include:
- high blood pressure
- type 2 diabetes
- increased frequency of joint injuries
- heart disease
- some forms of cancer - especially intra-abdominal cancers
- osteoarthritis (arthritis)
Heavy dogs interact less with their families and are less active and playful. They tend to lay around more, so it is easier to overlook earlier signs of illness since we may see their lethargy to their usual laziness. Overweight dogs usually have shorter lives than regular-weight companions.
How do you lose a dog's weight by exercise?
It would help if you start with is to increase the intensity and length of your daily walk. When people walk with their dogs, the average speed is 10 to 20, which is a stroll while walking for weight loss. Weight loss walking is very different than walking for pleasure. Therefore, it would be helpful if you aimed for a daily brisk Thirty-minute walk.
- Use balls, squeaky toys, laser pointers, or sticks to encourage games. Make sure you play with your dog for at least ten to fifteen minutes twice daily. Some toys move randomly and make noises that may also interest your dog.
- Move the food bowl downstairs or upstairs, changing its location often, so the dog always has to walk to get the food bowl.
- Feed your dog in a puzzle feeder or treat ball to slow down ingestion and help them feel more full.
Here are some ideas which help your dog lose weight
- How Much You're Feeding your Pet
You can get a set of dry measuring cups for your pet's food. However, they are easy to find and not expensive. Or you can get a small kitchen scale to make feeding even more precise by weighing the quantity of food you feed your pet.
- Talk with Your Vet about Your Pet's Weight
Ask your veterinarian to measure your pet's weight each year (or every six months for old pets). Ask your vet if your dog is just right, too low, or even too high.
- Weight Your Dog Regularly
I recommend you regularly bring your pet into the clinic to measure weight. There are scales also available at pet stores for the dog, which you can use between clinic visits. Regularly following a pet's weight, rather than just yearly check-ups, helps notice the slight changes in weight which might be hard to see.
- Use Slow-Feeders or Interactive Food Puzzles
Slow down your pet's eating rate to help them feel full faster by skipping the regular bowl and feeding them with a slow feeder bowl or interactive toy. Another way to slow their eating is by adding water to their food.
How long will my dog need to be on a diet?
Most dogs will reach their ideal weight within six to eight months. However, something needs to change if your dog takes a long time. Average weight loss is between one to six pounds per month based on your dog's size. Some dogs may shed pounds more quickly, while others need to go slower.