It is estimated that over half of the dogs in the United States are overweight or obese. With these staggering statistics, it is more important than ever to focus on pet obesity, how to prevent it, and how to help your pet lose weight if he is in the overweight or obese category.
How do I prevent my dog from becoming overweight or obese?
- A healthy, well-balanced diet and regular exercise will help keep your dog in great shape.
- Feed dogs separately in a multi-dog home, or monitor their feeding so that one dog doesn’t steal out of another dog’s bowl.
- Do not free feed.
- Choose a high quality food for your dog.
- Always provide your dog with access to fresh, clean water.
What are the health risks that overweight dogs face?
- Decreased life span
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Respiratory distress and disease
- Kidney disease
- Muscle injuries
How can I help my dog lose weight?
- Do not free feed your dog. Feed your dog a set amount of food once or twice a day (depending on your vet’s recommendation) at the same time each day.
- Work with your veterinarian to develop a plan for reducing your dog’s food intake to a healthy level.
- Exercise your dog daily. For an obese dog, you may have to build up the duration and intensity of the exercise gradually.
- Swimming is a great way to help a dog lose weight. Utilize the help of an expert to make the most out of your dog’s swim experience.
- In a multi-dog household, feed dogs separately so that one dog does not get more food than another.