Dogs are the heart and soul of every homeowner’s life, and they bring us joy, laughter, happiness, and a reason to leave the house from time to time. Unfortunately, this sometimes leads to spoiling the dog and what it eats.
Poor diet in dogs can lead to endless problems, some of the worst being obesity, pancreatitis, and cancer. As a dog owner, it is your responsibility that your dog consumes a healthy balanced diet, meeting all the requirements they need to live a long, happy life. This can be not easy, but choosing the right food and the amount to give them isn’t necessarily easy. That’s where our guide comes in handy; explore these top tips on how to put a dog on a diet.
If you’re reading this and are thinking of getting a new pup, you may have just got one. Always start your diet early, which will help greatly in the long run. Once a dog becomes mature, it’s much more likely to become more assertive and fussier with what it eats, especially if it has been spoiled its entire life.
The longer you wait to start healthy diets, the more likely they will develop problems. Some breeds might be more prone than others, but it’s common in all dogs if not fed right.
This means feeding your puppy the right amount of feed per their body weight as recommended by the packaging or online sources. You can then monitor their weight change as they grow up and adjust how much you feed them.
Avoid feeding too much human food. Dogs overly fed this way are much more likely to become fussy eaters. That is the least of your problems.
Dog Always Hungry?
Unlike humans, dogs can’t just nip to the shop for a snack. They are natural scavengers, meaning they tend to eat whatever they find, regardless of whether they’re hungry. Begging for food is a trick they develop very quickly, and often it works. The more you give in begging, your dog will bug you for food. Giving them treats now and again only adds to this too.
With calorie-controlled food, you will be advised how much, on average, to feed the dog daily. This will be accustomed to the target weight, not their current weight. If you use a scoop to dish your dog food, be sure not to be overly generous and treat it as a normal amount. You can reduce their hunger by feeding them two to three times daily, so long as you stay within the recommended amount.
If you aren’t using dietary-controlled food and are instead using their normal food, the results may not be as effective. Dietary foods are designed to be much lighter but still as tasty with a significantly reduced fat amount. If you are unsure what’s best to feed your dog based on its weight, always check with your vet, and they will get you on track.
You should also talk to a vet if your dog isn’t losing weight after a few months. Please eliminate edible treats and replace them with active treats like walking, playing a game, or even petting. They are a lot better for them and help build relationships too.
Walks Don’t Quite Cut it
Humans can go to the gym to burn significant calories, and you might think the equivalent for dogs is a standard walk or a run. This isn’t the case. Slowly increase the amount and intensity of walks with your dog. You must be careful not to overrun them, especially if they are older and in warm weather. Dogs will tend to run until they physically can’t anymore. Little and often is the safest way to start.
Try introducing some games, bring a ball, anything that will get a good run out of them.
How Long Will It Take For Change?
Most dogs will achieve their ideal weight in about six to eight months, given that they meet their dietary and exercise requirements. A healthy weight loss is around one to five pounds per month, based on your dog’s size and condition.
For most dogs, weight loss can be easy, and all it really takes is a committed family/owner willing to go on the journey with them. Dogs don’t understand that their weight is causing them harm; it is down to you to realise.
That wraps up most of what you need to know when putting your dog on a diet. The key takeaways from this would be to start as early as possible, not be alarmed if they are constantly hungry, monitor their weight, and become more active with them.
Do this, and your dog will be well on their way to a happy, healthy lifestyle.
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