Tags: Pets | dog | pet | health | lose | weight

Dog Pet Health: How to Help Your Dog Lose Weight

Image: Dog Pet Health: How to Help Your Dog Lose Weight
(Willeecole/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Monday, 19 Jan 2015 03:49 PM

Dogs carrying too much weight may struggle with health problems, so it can be important for pet owners to take on the challenge of helping their canines to lose a few pounds.

A 2011 study found that 53 percent of dogs are overweight, so there’s a good chance your favorite dog may be hanging on to some extra weight.

Latest: Tell Us About Your Pets! Which Do You Have?

To determine if your dog is overweight, Web MD recommends feeling around your pet’s ribcage and spine. “You should be able to locate both with only a thin layer of fat separating the skin from the bones. If you can’t find the ribcage, you have an overweight dog.”

In addition, check with your veterinarian on your dog’s next visit, and he or she can help you determine your dog’s optimal weight.

Once you’ve determined that your pooch needs to lose the pounds, there are several options for getting the weight off. It pretty much follows the same strategy as when you need to lose weight yourself — control food intake and increase exercise.

"Food is love, and people want to make their pets happy," veterinarian Todd R. Tams told Web MD. "Very often, it is not the dog’s official food that is causing the weight problem; it is all the additional treats or snacks between meals.”

Pet MD cited a 2002 study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine that found dogs that were fed a calorie-restricted diet lived almost two years longer than dogs who ate additional calories.

Determining portion control is the key to controlling diet, and most pet food companies have portion sizes on their packaging or on their websites. One option, after analyzing everything your dog eats (including those treats), is to cut portion sizes by 10 or 15 percent for six weeks to see if that has an effect,Wed MD said.

Tell Us: Buying or Adopting? How Did You Get Your Pets?

Pet MD said one option is to reduce dry food and increase whole foods, specifically vegetables, for your pet. “Your pet’s food provides the building blocks of body tissue and is a vital component of maintaining normally functioning body systems,” Pet MD said. “Fresh, moist proteins, carbohydrates, and fat sources are more energetically useful to your pet than the ingredients found in dehydrated and denatured dry foods.”

If portion control and adding whole foods doesn’t work, Web MD said there are diet dog foods available that may help.

After determining a healthy eating plan for your dog, the next step is implementing an exercise program. The good news is that such a program will probably benefit you, too. A study on people and pets exercising together found that exercising regularly with a pet helped people to lose weight

Schedule a time to exercise daily. “When starting out, choose simple workouts like briskly walking around your neighborhood, then increase the intensity and duration as Fido’s fitness progresses,” Pet MD said.

Web MD’s Tam recommended 10 to 15 minutes of exercise every day for your dog.

If nothing you do seems to have an impact on your dog’s weight after a month or two, consider consulting with a veterinarian to make sure the weight isn’t related to a medical condition, Tams told Web MD. Low thyroid levels and hormonal imbalances can impact your pet’s ability to lose weight.

Vote Now: Should the Government Do More to Assist Animal Shelters?

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
FastFeatures
Dogs carrying too much weight may struggle with health problems, so it can be important for pet owners to take on the challenge of helping their canines to lose a few pounds.
dog, pet, health, lose, weight
574
2015-49-19
Monday, 19 Jan 2015 03:49 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved