What To Do When Your Dog Is Overweight
What do you do when your dog is fat, obese or just slightly overweight? Well, just like with us, if a dog eats too much and does not get enough exercise they are going to gain weight. It is very important to take care of your dog if he develops a weight problem. Just as with us, being overweight can cause a whole mess of problems with a dog. The excess weight a dog has causes extra pressure on their joints and muscles which in turn may develop into arthritis. The extra weight can be precursors to other diseases such as diabetes. However, before you rush out to buy the newest diet dog food, stop and look at your dogs feeding habits.
While being overweight can be the symptom of other illness, chances are your dog is just being overfed. It is still a good idea to take him to the vet just to make sure. Like Tonti here…
He is a beautiful Rottweiler that happens to be overweight; however his comes from a hormonal disease called Cushings disease. Since his diagnosis he has dropped weight and continues to do so. I will update you on his progress in future posts. Most of the time though it is not a disease that is causing your dogs overweight problem, it is the fact that the dog is just eating too much and not exercising enough…sound familiar, sounds like the same problem that humans have, especially American humans.
Stay away from diet dog food. They are filled with fillers which are how they keep the fat and protein levels lower than in regular dog food. Plus these formulas can do more damage than good. You really are better off cutting down on the amount you feed your dog. You know portion control. If you are feeding your dog 3 cups of dry a day cut back to 2 cups if that is not enough cut back to 1.5 cups. To help stave off the cravings and your dogs whinning about not being fed as much, break the feeding into multiple times per day, but still maintain the same amount total for the day. So if you are feeding 2 cups a day break it down into 1 cup in the morning and 1 cup at night.
I have also seen some miraculous changes in a dogs weight by changing them over to a raw diet. Many obese dogs that have tried and tried with those filler based “diet” food have had no change and I have had them switch over to the raw diet and the weight just melts off. My guess is that the raw diet gives the dog more energy and makes them feel better which in turn makes them more active. The calories in a raw diet are not garbage calories but very useable and the dog loses weight. It is sort of like going from eating fast food everyday to starting to eat healthy, your metabolism speeds up, you feel more energetic and you start to lose weight. The same with your dog.
Next, make sure you exercise your dog. This is easier with some breeds than it is with others, but it is still necessary to improve your dogs health and make them lose weight. Take your dog for walks, if you have a fenced in yard, make sure you are out there with him tossing a ball around or at least playing with him. Anything to get them moving.
The basics for what to do when your dog is overweight are to feed your dog less and exercise him more. Portion control and exercise will keep your dog fit and trim instead of overweight!dog health, obesity in dogs, overweight dogVet Directory