Help get your dog to the perfect weight—and keep him there!
We all know that at this time of year, we set out our resolutions and hope to be healthier in the New Year. This year, why not include your dog in that goal as well? According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 54% of America’s pets are overweight. Here, you’ll find some tools and tricks to help take your pup from fat to fit.
First things first: how do you know if you are harboring a fat dog?
1. Re-evaluate your dog’s diet
The most important thing you can do for the health of your dog is to feed it high quality dog food in the appropriate amounts. Kibble high in sugar and low quality grains like those with corn, corn syrup, and sorbitol add little nutritional value but do a lot of damage by promoting obesity, cataracts, and nervousness. We recommend trying a high quality diet food, which can help keep dogs satisfied with fewer calories, like our LiveSmart Chicken Meal and Brown Rice Weight Management Adult dog food.
Substituting some carbohydrates for lean protein and/or fiber is also a great way to aid in weight loss. Pumpkin can be a fantastic low-calorie source of fiber that can help the dog feel full, while additional lean meat protein adds loads of nutritional value with little calories. We have heard from customers all over the country that a combination of Fruitables Pumpkin Digestive Supplement and LiveSmart Hearty Chicken Stew has aided their dog’s weight loss!
The final piece of this puzzle is to feed your dog according to the weight he SHOULD be, not the weight he IS. PortionPaks make feeding a consistent amount virtually foolproof and allow everyone in your family to take part in feeding without the worry that your husband’s “cup” is different than yours!
You should be able to find recommended feeding amounts from any dog food manufacturer, but for the royal treatment, call our Product Specialists for a customized consultation!
*Adjusting your dog’s meal should take place over time to avoid digestive upset.
2. Be Smart about Treats- they count!
Snacking has been sabotaging weight loss goals for eons, and that applies to our canine friends, too! Remember that each treat you give your dog should be factored into his overall daily caloric intake. A good way to avoid adding calories on top of those acquired from meals is to use a portion of their meal as treats throughout the day. Set aside a small amount and remember to remove that amount from his next meal. If that’s a little too much work for every day, keep some baby carrots or green beans on hand for guilt-free treating.
3. Take a hike!
Exercise is an important part of keeping your pal healthy and fulfilled. Increase your dog’s exercise regimen safely by working with your vet. Too much heavy exercise on a dog that is not used to it can lead to joint damage and difficulty breathing, but the right amount is imperative for healthy weight loss. Start off slow and gradually increase activity as your dog’s stamina and energy increases. Use this time to bond with your dog while taking walks, playing fetch, or going for a swim!
4. Support your Pup!
When a dog is obese or overweight, his joints are often stressed by the excess pounds. This can lead to sore joints and in some cases, arthritis. Combat this by feeding a joint supplement like SmartCanine Joint Ultra, which provides moderate to high levels of nature’s big three: glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid.
Aside from keeping your dog’s joints in tip-top shape, consider a supplement that supports your dog’s metabolism, like SmartCanine Healthy Weight. Healthy Weight offers chromium, cinnamon, and green tea, among other beneficial ingredients, that are known for their positive effects on canine body mass and muscle tone.
Keeping your dog at an ideal body weight can add up to two years to his life as well as help ward off life-threatening conditions like diabetes and heart disease. With just a little bit of time, you can drastically improve your pudgy pup’s quality of life.