Dog obesity has emerged as the most important disease processes in dogs today. The prime reason for obesity or excess weight gain in dogs is lack of activity. The second reason is feeding a calorie-rich diet despite less activity level.
Though obesity is a developing cause of concern in pets, it can be prevented. Following steps are the few pointers that every pet parent who has an obese or overweight pet should consider.
1) Always Consult Your Vet About Your Obese Dog
Consult your veterinarian and get your pet checked for any underlying hormonal issues. If there is such health problem, start on medications as prescribed by your veterinarian.
2) Use The Canine Obesity Chart
Feed the appropriate amount of food based on the Feeding Chart… Those charts look like this sample..
3) Dont Rely Solely On The “Feeding Chart” To Inhibit Dog Obesity
Every dogs metabolism and activity level is differet. You should use dog obesity charts as a baseline. In addition to this, you can utilize a Body Condition Scorecard like the sample below. In this way, you can determine right amount food that your dog needs.
4) Stop Feeding High Calorie Treats All Day
Each morning, put 1/2 of your dogs daily allotment of kibble in his bowl and put the rest in a ziptop bag. Use the bag as “Treats” all day long… Use them during Training… Use them “Just Because”. At the end of the day, serve whatever is left as your dogs evening meal. Save the High Calorie Treats for training new skills, when their value as lures and rewards will be heightened by their infrequent use.
5) Use Fruit or Vegetables For Treats To Slow Down Your Dog Obesity
A lot of dogs love blueberries, raspberries, carrot slices, banana slices, green beans. Experiment. Those are all Low Calorie treats which may prevent your dog from gaining extra weights.
6) Be Sure To Account For The Calorie Content Of Any “Home Cooked” Or “Raw” Food Diets
Follow an established formula for the food so you know how many calories are in a serving. Adult dogs who are moderately active require 35 kcal per pound per day to maintain their weight. So, your 20 pound dog needs 700 kcal per ay. For comparison, a cup of your average dry kibble contains 450 kcal. So Dogo needs about 1.5 cups per day. Use that calculation as a baseline and adjust up or down with the Body Condition Score.
7) Keep Your Dog Active
Adjust food and activity based on age and health status. Consider activities you can do together like Dog Sports.
Here some good activities to prevent dog obesity
Assistance – Teach your dog to carry things around the house for you, such as taking the laundry to the laundry room, pull a basket with a short rope, take trash to the trash bin, pick up dropped objects… Use your imagination…
Fetch – Balls, Frisbees, Sticks etc
Frisbee Agility aka Disc Dog – Fetch on steroids
Flyball – Fetch on steroids and a 6 pack of “Red Bull”
Joring – Your dog pulls you on a bike, skates, skis or even on foot
Field Agility – The formal “Crufts” competition sport
Scent Training – Teach your dog to hunt for scented lures scattered around your house and property
Protection Dog Training Sports – Schutzhund , French Ring, Mondio Ring
Carting – Pulling carts on wheels or pulling weights on sleds
Dock Jumping – Formal Competitions or simply throwing a floating dummy into your local pond
Earthdog Trials – Let those little terriers “Go to Ground” chasing quarry thru underground mazes
Field Trials – Testing hunting dog skill
Flirt Pole – Exercise your dog in minimum space and cost.
Treadmills – Not my favorite due to the “boredom” factor but still one of the best ways to burn up canine energy
For similar content, please check Animals
To reach more information regarding the topic, please check “What are the ways to prevent canine obesity?“