Bad eating habits and daily routines can make a dog of normal understanding end up being a fat dog in a few months, with the corresponding dangers that excess weight poses to your health.
As incredible as it may seem, more than thirty-five percent of dogs living in Spain are overweight, with obesity in dogs being one of the main causes of diseases such as osteoarthritis and circulatory problems.
If our dog has put on more weight than he should, it is our responsibility to take care of him and get him back to his proper weight. From Dogsis we are going to give you the necessary keys to achieve it.
Index of contents
- 1 How to know if my dog is fat?
- 2 How to help my dog lose weight
- 2.1 1. Exercise daily with your dog to burn fat
- 2.2 2. Diet low in fat and carbohydrates
- 2.3 3. Eliminate your dog’s bad habits
- 3 Dangers of being overweight to a dog’s health
How to know if my dog is fat?
There are many different breeds and sizes of dogs, so logically each specimen has a different optimal weight. That is why simple techniques have been developed that allow us to know if our dog is overweight or not.
It is a very simple technique that consists of observing our dog from the side and from the top of it, appreciating what we consider the back or spine.
When we observe a dog from above, it must perfectly mark a small curve that goes from the end of the rib cage to the beginning of the hip. If our dog has no curves and looks straight, he is overweight.
Appreciating the dog from the side, we should feel the area of the ribs and check if the ribs are visible. If they are appreciated, your dog may need to gain a little more weight, if they are not appreciated, it is a good sign as long as it is not difficult for us to feel them with the hand.
If with our hand and palpating the area of the ribs we can not appreciate them to the touch, it means that our dog has excess body fat or what is the same, that our dog is fat.
How to help my dog lose weight
You must keep in mind that a dog does not lose weight in a single week and that it will be a hard process for him and for you, since to help your dog lose weight both you will have to get to work on the problem.
It will be a process that lasts between three and nine months, in some cases even a little longer, but by following these tips and being consistent, your dog will return to its weight and thus regain much of its health.
1. Exercise daily with your dog to burn fat
Your dog’s excess weight is due to the accumulation of fat in his body and unfortunately, the fat is not going to go away by itself no matter how much it bothers us… We must start an exercise routine with our dog to help him burn the excess of fat and lose weight running.
We will start taking long walks with our dog on a daily basis, without forcing him to run since a fat dog can even suffocate if he exercises excessively. The ideal is to start the first weeks with long walks in the morning and in the afternoon.
Playing with our dog is also an excellent idea, throwing the ball at him will make him exercise by going for it. Letting him play with other dogs is also considered good exercise, as long as they run a little.
From the fourth week on, we can begin to do a little more intense exercise. For example, we can go for a leisurely bike ride while our dog jogs with us. Trotting means a little faster than walking, but we should not make him run excessively.
An hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon, plus the normal walks to relieve himself, will be a good plan to exercise our fat dog by forcing him to burn fat.
Maintain this routine on a daily basis and remember that you should never do it after feeding your dog. Also, don’t feed him right after exercise, because we could cause gastric torsion. We must wait a prudent time, one hour before and two or three hours after meals.
2. Diet low in fat and carbohydrates
We must not make the mistake of thinking that changing our dog’s diet for a different one that says “Light”, our dog will lose weight. Not so since there is no diet for obese dogs. The vast majority of dog food that uses the designation “Light”, actually fatter.
This is because “Light” feed is focused on reducing the percentage of protein and slightly that of fat, but maintains or even considerably increases the percentage of carbohydrates. And this is precisely what will make our dog, from losing weight, fattening.
Manufacturers of dog food never put the percentage of carbohydrates in their products. Since they are not required by law to put them … but there is a very simple formula so that we can calculate them ourselves:
- Add the percentage of Proteins plus the percentage of Fat plus the percentage of Fiber plus the percentage of Ashes plus the percentage of Moisture. If, for example, the sum of everything gives you 55%, then that feed is 45% carbohydrates.
In other words, the difference in the total amounts is the amount of hydrates that a dog food contains. On the label of the bag or even on the website itself you can see the amount of protein, fat, fiber, ash and moisture of each product.
To choose a good feed for your dog It is now up to you, look for one that helps you lose weight, that is, that has very few carbohydrates. If a feed has a lot of protein it is not a problem, the problem is that it has few. Try to keep the fat level low but always adding to check the percentage of carbohydrates.
If you have time to prepare your dog’s food yourself, we recommend that you investigate the BARF diet for dogs. It is the healthiest and the one that can help your dog lose weight as a diet for overweight.
3. Eliminate your dog’s bad habits
A dog that is fat is a dog that has been badly accustomed by its human, so it is our responsibility to practice good habits to help him lose excess body fat.
- Don’t give your dog food outside of their meal times, or even treats. No more dog treats.
- Do not give your dog homemade food, do not give anything that you are eating.
- Measure your dog’s daily ration with a scale and follow it strictly (in the bag the manufacturer will indicate your recommended daily ration).
- Exercise with your dog daily, but without overdoing it.
- After meals you can take a quiet wa
lk with your dog (never exercise).
- Do not let your dog eat food scraps on the street (mainly bread).
- There is no such thing as fattening food, so focus on your diet.
If you really want to help your dog lose weight and have a healthier and longer life, you should take all these recommendations very seriously.
It is very common to hear that “my dog is fat but does not eat much”, when he is pecking here and there all day … do not hide, knowing that it is true.
Dangers of being overweight to a dog’s health
If you knew that an obese dog could possibly live thirty percent less than a well-fed dog, what would you think? And if I told you that a fat dog suffers even forty percent more diseases than a thin dog, what would you think?
Overweight dogs strain their joints a lot, which causes serious problems such as osteoarthritis or even dysplasia in the medium and long term. So not only will you spend a lot more money on vets and medicines, but your dog’s quality of life will be seriously affected.
When a dog is fat, its circulatory system is also severely affected, it takes more energy for your body to move and even breathe, causing your heart to have to work harder to achieve the same.
And if that were not enough, excess saturated fat will slow down your circulation, so we add extra work to your heart. The sense of sight and even many vital organs such as the kidneys, will be severely affected by excess fat.
In short, being overweight will not help our dog at all. Let us not be sorry not to give him food if he gives us eyes, because what really matters is his health.
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