Your dog is probably overweight.
Don’t take it personally! Over half of all American dogs are overweight or obese. It’s one of the leading cause of chronic health issues in canines. The good news? You can turn things around! Whether you’ve got a decade-old couch potato or a pup with an appetite that just won’t quit, here are 22 ways you can help your dog lose weight.
1. Measure, measure, and measure again. Use your dog food’s packaging to figure out exactly how much to give at mealtimes, and measure. Don’t stop even once you think you can eyeball it.
2. Stop the scrounging. Dogs with weight struggles should be fed at regular intervals. Don’t leave your dog’s food out all day; leave out breakfast and dinner for 15 minutes then remove the bowls like clockwork.
3. Add an extra block. Sure, you walk your dog, but would they really notice if you added an extra block to the route? Increase exercise just a little at a time.
4. Up the speed. Not only should you aim to slowly increase the distance of your dog’s walks, but the speed as well. Walks should be brisk and you should probably break a sweat!
5. Reward with play. Instead of reaching for the treat bag to encourage good behavior, grab a ball for fetch! Your dog will just be happy for the praise.
6. Chillax on the treats. Seriously. Your dog doesn’t need food treats to be happy.
7. Look into DHAs. Some fatty acids may help your dog feel fuller and thus eat less. Talk to your veterinarian about Omega-3-containing softgels.
8. Get a scale. Weighing your dog weekly can help you keep on track! A general goal for weight loss is 1% a week, but be sure to check with your vet.
9. See the vet more often. Your veterinarian wants your dog to maintain a healthy weight. Quarterly check-ins can help monitor your progress and ensure your dog’s diet is safe.
10. Get strict on table scraps. Immediately stop feeding your dog people food! Make sure everyone who has contact with your dog knows the new rules as well.
11. Think about supplements. There’s some evidence that specific herbal supplements can help boost your dog’s metabolism and improve insulin resistance. As always, talk to your vet.
12. Evaluate for arthritis. Do your dog’s joints hurt? Are you sure? Joint pain can cause a lack of mobility which can lead to weight gain. Supplements can help!
Pet news, updates, and special offers
from your friends at Vetted.
13. Check out new chews. Long-lasting dental chews (low-calorie, of course) are a great way to keep your dog’s mouth busy and burn a few extra calories. See which one your vet recommends.
14. Move the bed. And the food bowl. And the water bowl. Make your dog work a little harder by traipsing through the house for the things they want! Every calorie counts.
15. Make them work for it. While you’re at it, get a puzzle feeder for your dog to slow them down while they eat. It takes the body nearly 20 minutes to register when it’s full, so this can help curb your dog’s appetite.
16. Encourage water. Just like us, dogs sometimes snack when they’re really just thirsty. Fill your dog up with lots of fresh, healthy H2O.
17. Play more! Playtime should always involve movement and it’s easy to add a couple extra ten-minute sessions every day. Wake up early, add one in before bed and before long, those pounds will melt off.
18. Check those carbs. Talk to your vet about whether or not your dog’s food is too carb-heavy. High protein, low carb diets are ideal for keeping weight off.
19. Add more veggies. Vegetables like carrots, broccoli, or green beans make a great low-calorie addition to your dog’s food bowl or in place of treats. Plus, extra fiber!
20. Trim those nails. Did you know that too-long nails can affect your dog’s gait? Keep them neatly trimmed to ensure they’re always up for exercise.
22. Swap your food. If you’re doing everything right and your dog still isn’t losing weight, it could be time for diet dog food. Talk to your vet about the right formulation.