It can be difficult for a pet owner to accept the fact that their dog has gone from slightly overweight to dangerously obese. Unfortunately, dogs that are overweight have a very high risk of developing many of the same chronic illnesses as humans such as diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, general lethargy, and arthritis. Taking the time to help your dog lose some weight could potentially prevent many of these conditions while improving their overall quality of life.
Start Measuring Meals
Eating fewer calories is almost always easier than trying to burn those calories once they have been consumed. If you are not already doing so, then you should immediately start weighing your dog's food and calculating their caloric intake. In order to calculate how many calories your dog needs per day, you must take a number of variables into consideration including their sex, their weight, if they are neutered, and how much activity they get.
Change Your Treats
Positive reinforcement is an excellent way to train your dog, but many owners feed their pets too many treats. Before purchasing your treats, you should take a closer look at exactly what ingredients they contain. Treats that have more calories should be broken into smaller pieces if they are used frequently. Once the dog begins behaving appropriately, you can then use the treats more sporadically.
Give Them More Outside Time
Those who do not have a nearby dog park should still try to play with their pet out in the yard a few times per week. Even if you decide to keep your dog on the leash in your own yard, you should still consider installing a fence. A fence will not only deter your own dog from running away, but it will also prevent other dogs from getting into your yard and attacking your pet. Deck and Fence Services and other such businesses are great resources for finding the right type of fence for your dog. The bigger your dog is, the stronger and taller your fence should be.
Most of your dog's vitamins and minerals should come from their diet, but deficiencies can occur when your dog eats the same foods every day. Doggy supplements have become quite popular in recent years, and they can help your pet avoid some of the most common weight-related health issues. Supplements will reduce joint inflammation, increase their metabolism, and give them much more energy to play outside.
If you have made changes to your dog's diet and daily habits and they are still not losing weight, then you should contact a veterinarian. They might have other medical issues that must be addressed before they can return to a healthy weight.